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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 88-93

Rheumatoid arthritis among autoimmune diagnosed patients: A pilot study at Africa's third largest hospital


1 Department of Biomedical and Forensic Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast; Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
2 Department of Biomedical and Forensic Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
3 Department of Radiography, School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, University of Ghana; Department of Radiology, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Richmond Owusu Ampofo
Department of Biomedical and Forensic Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast
Ghana
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DOI: 10.4103/1119-0388.185425

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Context: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Its etiology remains a generational challenge that keeps evolving with time. Epidemiological studies on this disease have been conducted in several countries around the globe. Unfortunately, little research has been done on RA in Africa. Due to this, RA is given low priority in medical research and often neglected in Africa. Aims: This pilot study aimed at estimating RA prevalence in a representative proportion of autoimmune diagnosed patients within Ghanaian population attending the rheumatology clinic of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH). Setting and Design: This is a pilot and cross-sectional study conducted at the KBTH. Methods: Patients attending the rheumatology clinic of the KBTH were the subjects for this cross-sectional study. Data acquisition involved questionnaire usage and review of medical records. Statistical Analysis Used: Chi-square cross tabulation on SPSS 16 and frequency charts in Microsoft Excel were used to analyze outcomes. Results: Most patients (n = 153 out of 225) were diagnosed RA. These RA diagnosed patients (n = 133/87%) were often seropositive for RF. The female gender (n = 131/85.62%) was diagnosed mostly. The disease peaked among 51-60 years age group and economically active patients (n = 118/77%). Among all the ethnic groups, the Akans were the most RA diagnosed tribe (n = 78/153). Conclusion: RA is indeed a chronic disease that has its signs and symptoms not well known among patients. It exists at a high prevalence among the Ghanaian population attending the rheumatology clinic.


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