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Table 4 Description of studies on rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

From: What is the prevalence of musculoskeletal problems in the elderly population in developed countries? A systematic critical literature review

First author Publ. year Country Study design / Population /Method of collection Sample size Crude response rate (%) Outcome definition Outcome assessment method Prevalence period Age Prevalence* (95% CI) Risk of bias
   Total M F       M F Total  
Andrianakos [10] 2006 Greece 1966-99, (19+ yo), the total adult population in 7 mixed communities + random sample in another 2 mixed communities (the ESORDIG study). Home visit by a rheumatologist. Interview and examination 8740 4269 4471 82 ACR 1987 criteria Self report + examination Point 60-69    0.9 L
70+ 0.9
Carmona [11] 2001 Spain (20+ yo), a stratified multistage cluster sampling from the censuses of 20 municipalities. Postal questionnaire + interview by a rheumatologist 2192 1014 1178 73 ACR criteria, based on modified questionnaire Self report Point 60-69    1.0 L
70-79 0.5
80+ 2.7
Collerton [12] 2009 UK 2006-7, (85+ yo), all people born in 1921, permanently registered with a participating GP in Newcastle upon Tyne or North Tyneside primary care trusts (the Newcastle 85+ Study). Medical records at the GP 853 323 530 59 Not stated Medical record Point 85 0.5 5.1 3.5 U
Englund [13] 2010 Sweden 2008, (20+ yo), all patients diagnosed with RA registered in the Skåne Health Care Register, southern Sweden. Data from a national registry 931316 27% 73% N/A Diagnosis of RA given by a specialist in rheumatology or internal medicine National register Point 65-74 1.0 1.9 1.5 L
75-84 1.0 1.7 1.5
85+ 1.2 1.2 1.1
Hanova [14] 2006 Czech Republic 2002, (16+ yo), all patients diagnosed before 28th February reported by all rheumatologists, other specialists, and almost all GPs. Medical records from GPs. ? ? ? N/A ACR 1987 clinical criteria Medical record Point 60-69 0.6 2.3   U
70-79 0.6 2.9
80+ 0.5 0.8
Laiho [15] 2001 Finland 1989, (75, 80 & 85 yo), a computer-generated random sample from the population register, Helsinki & Vantaa (the Helsinki Ageing Study & the Vantaa study). Interview and examination 1317 484 833 76-96 ACR 1987 clinical criteria Self report + examination Point 75 2.8 1.2 1.7 U
80 0 1.4 1.0
85 0 1.3 1.0
Neovius [16] 2010 Sweden 2008, (16+ yo), patients with a clinical visit listing an RA diagnosis were identified in inpatient and outpatient specialist care in the National Patient Register (1964–2007) together with patients listed in the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register (SRQ; 1995–2007). National register 58102 ? ? ? Any visit listing an RA diagnosis was used to define RA. National register Point 60-69 0.9 2.1 1.5 L
70-79 1.3 2.6 2.0
80+ 1.5 2.7 2.2
Ollivier [17] 2004 France 1996, (18+ yo), a random sample from the official list of phone numbers in Brittany. Telephone interviews by a rheumatologist 1672 0 1672 92 ACR 1987 clinical criteria Self report + examination Point 60-69   1.5   L
70-79 1.1
80-89 1.4
Picavet [18] 2003 The Netherlands 1998, (25+ yo), a 6 months follow-up on a baseline stratified random sample taken from the population register (the Dutch population-based Musculoskeletal Complaints and Consequences Cohort study, DMC3-study). Postal questionnaire 2338 ? ? 85 "Please indicate whether a physician or medical specialist has ever told you that you have one or more of the following diseases [RA]” Self repot Point 65-74    6 H
75+ 10
Rasch [19] 2003 USA 1988-94, (60+ yo), a multistage, stratified probability sample representative of the civilian non-institutionalized population residing in the 50 states of the USA. Home interviews and examination at mobile centers 5302 ? ? 80 ACR 1987 clinical criteria: 3 out of 6 criteria met (“n of k”) Self report + laboratory results Point 60+ 1.6 (0.8-2.4) 2.4 (1.4-3.4)   L
Rasch [19] 2003 USA 1988-94, (60+ yo), a multistage, stratified probability sample representative of the civilian non-institutionalized population residing in the 50 states of the USA. Home interviews and examination at mobile centers 5302 ? ? 80 ACR 1987 clinical criteria: allowing surrogate classification variables when a primary classification variable is unavailable (“classification tree”) Self report + laboratory results Point 60+ 1.6 (0.8-2.4) 2.6 (1.6-3.6)   L
Riise [20] 2000 Norway 1987 & 1996, (20+), all records of patients registered at the Department of Rheumatology at the University Hospital of Tromsø [only 1996 prevalence reported here] 2282 ? ? ? ACR 1987 clinical criteria (ICD-9 diagnoses 714.0 and 714.9) in medical records and subsequently critical reviews by a senior consultant Medical record Point 60-69 0.9 1.4 1.2 L
70-79 0.9 1.9 1.5
80-89 1.3 1.3 1.5
90+ 0.2 0.6 0.4
Symmons [21] 2002 UK (16+), a two-stage stratified random sample from 11 GPs in Norfolk (GPs allowed to exclude certain patients). Postal questionnaire and examination at the GP 5424 ? ? 77 A modified version of the ACR 1987 criteria for symptomatic RA followed by a clinical assessment Clinical assessment Point 65-74 1.5 (0.8-3.0) 3.3 (1.9-5.9)   U
          75+ 3.1 (1.7-5.5) 5.4 (3.1-9.3)   
  1. *Prevalence estimates without decimals are obtained from figures/graphs in the article and should be interpreted with caution.
  2. I: Interview, Q: Questionnaire; E: Examination, R: Register. L: Low, U: Unclear, H: High.
  3. GP: General practitioner; ACR: The American College of Rheumatology (ACR clinical criteria for RA [22]).