Correlates of rheumatoid arthritis among women in Albania

Julia Kollcaku, Artur Kollcaku


Aim: Our aim was to assess the association of rheumatoid arthritis with socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors among women in transitional Albania.     

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2012-2013 including a sample of 2198 women aged 30 years and above who attended the Rheumatology services at primary health care clinics in Tirana municipality (mean age: 60.2±9.7 years; overall response rate: 95%). The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was based on the American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism (ACR/EULAR) 2010 criteria. In addition, a structured questionnaire was administered to all study participants including information on demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and behavioral factors. Binary logistic regression was used to assess the association of rheumatoid arthritis with covariates.

Results: Overall, 437 (19.9%) women were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (both incident and prevalent cases). In multivariable-adjusted models, rheumatoid arthritis was positively and significantly related to older age (OR=1.8, 95%CI=1.3-2.6), a lower educational attainment (OR=1.4, 95%CI=1.1-1.9), smoking (OR=1.5, 95%CI=1.1-2.0), alcohol intake (OR=1.9, 95%CI=1.2-3.1) and overweight and obesity (OR=1.5, 95%CI=1.2-2.0 and OR=1.6, 95%CI=1.2-2.0, respectively).   

Conclusion: This study provides useful evidence about selected correlates of rheumatoid arthritis among women attending specialized primary health care services in Albania. Health professionals and policymakers in Albania should be aware of the magnitude and consequences of this chronic condition in the adult population.   




Albania, behavioral factors, rheumatoid arthritis, socio-demographic factors, Western Balkans.

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DOI: 10.4119/UNIBI/SEEJPH-2016-127

Copyright (c) 2016 Julia Kollcaku, Artur Kollcaku

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