Prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in Greece: results from the national health examination survey EMENO

Rheumatol Int. 2023 Jul;43(7):1349-1355. doi: 10.1007/s00296-023-05316-3. Epub 2023 Mar 31.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is considered the most common form of autoimmune arthritis. The disease's prevalence is around 0.5-1% worldwide, but it seems to vary among different populations. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of self-reported diagnosed RA in the general adult population in Greece. The data were derived from the Greek Health Examination Survey EMENO, a population-based survey performed between 2013 and 2016. Of the 6006 participants (response rate 72%), 5884 were eligible for this study. Prevalence estimates were calculated according to the study design. Prevalence of self-reported RA was estimated to be overall 0.5% (95% CI 0.4-0.7) being approximately three times higher in women than in men (0.7% vs 0.2%, p value = 0.004). A decrease in the prevalence of RA was observed in urban areas of the country. In contrast, higher disease rates were reported in individuals with lower socioeconomic status. Multivariable regression analysis showed that gender, age, and income were related to the occurrence of the disease. Osteoporosis and thyroid disease were the two comorbidities observed at statistically significant higher rates in individuals with self-reported RA. The prevalence of self-reported RA in Greece is similar to that reported in other European countries. Gender, age, and income are the main factors related to the disease's prevalence in Greece.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Greece; Health surveys; Prevalence; Rheumatoid arthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence