Objectives: To measure the frequency of and risk factors for rheumatic manifestations after chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection and to assess their impact on quality of life (QoL).
Methods: In a cohort study among 509 cases diagnosed in France, demographic and clinical characteristics were collected at baseline, and QoL status by 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36), a short form of the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2 (AIMS2-SF) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) at follow-up. SF-36 scores were compared with population norms. Factors associated with QoL were identified in multivariate linear regression models.
Results: A total of 391 (77%) patients participated (53.5% female, mean age 50.2 years). Median time from onset at follow-up was 23.4 months. Among 176 recovered patients, a shorter duration of symptoms was observed in younger age groups and male patients. The probability of full recovery at 1 year was 0.39. Those not recovered were older, had more comorbidities and a longer acute stage with joint swelling. Scores of physical and mental components of the SF-36 and GHQ-12 were low. The AIMS2-SF was affected mainly in symptoms, psychological and social dimensions. Recovered patients did not differ significantly from age- and gender-matched population SF-36 norms. Older age (P = 0.01-0.002) was associated with lower SF-36 scores. Other factors associated with lower SF-36, lower GHQ12 scores and higher AIMS2-SF dimensions were lack of recovery (P = 0.017 to <0.0001), presence of comorbidity (P = 0.005 to <0.0001) and a longer duration of acute stage (P = 0.047 to <0.0001).
Conclusion: Medical follow-up with special attention to comorbidity providing information on possible chronic symptoms and giving support for potential depression and anxiety are recommended.