Objective: To establish the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the urbanized Chinese of Hong Kong.
Methods: 2000 adults in 2 housing blocks were screened using a structured interview. Those who screened positive had an examination, rheumatoid factor analysis and radiographs taken. Subjects were classified using the Rome, New York and 1987 ACR criteria (modified and unmodified) for RA.
Results: The prevalence of RA, using the modified 1987 ACR criteria, was 0.35%. This is significantly lower than published data for European Caucasians (standardized morbidity ratio = 0.27; 95% CI 0.09-0.63).
Conclusion: RA is rare in urbanized Chinese.