Objective: To document the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and spondyloarthropathy (SpA) in Brittany, France.
Methods: (1) Members of rheumatism self-help groups screened cases using questionnaires. (2) Rheumatologists in our unit contacted persons who had possible inflammatory rheumatic diseases and persons who refused the first interview. (3) When diagnosis remained unknown or discordant with the questionnaire, the general practitioner or the rheumatologist of these patients was interviewed. (4) Patients without diagnosis and who had not had a rheumatological examination were examined without charge by a rheumatologist.
Results: An overall prevalence rate of 0.62% (0.33-0.91) and 0.47% (0.22-0.72) was found for RA and for SpA, respectively. The prevalence of RA and SpA was 0.86 (0.39-1.33) and 0.53 (0.16-0.9) in women and 0.32 (0.01-0.63) and 0.41 (0.05-0.77) in men. The minimum prevalence of RA and SpA calculated on the estimated initial group (3189 persons) was 0.53 (0.28-0.78) and 0.41 (0.18-0.63), respectively.
Conclusion: Our telephone survey revealed that the prevalences of RA and SpA are nearly similar among our population and that SpA is as common in women as in men.