Objective: To evaluate the role of socioeconomic factors in susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: A prospective population based register of inflammatory joint disease (NOAR) recruited 687 adults between 1990 and 1992, of whom 50% satisfied ARA criteria for RA at presentation. Using census data, social class specific incidence rates were calculated for both sexes. A correlation analysis was undertaken examining the association between incidence rates and 5 indicators of socioeconomic status.
Results: There was no trend of increasing incidence with declining social class. None of the 5 indicators examined showed any evidence of association with incidence (rs range 0.0-0.3).
Conclusion: In contrast to the data on factors influencing outcome in established RA, the socioeconomic status variables examined did not explain susceptibility patterns in the population studied.