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Prevalence and risk factors of gastrointestinal disorders in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: results from a population-based survey in olmsted county, Minnesota.



To compare the prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) versus non-RA subjects and to describe determinants of GI disorders in RA. Methods. The bowel disease questionnaire was completed by RA and non-RA subjects. RA patients also completed the health assessment questionnaire (HAQ).


The study responders included 284 RA and 233 non-RA subjects. Abdominal pain/discomfort, postprandial fullness, nausea, and stool leakage were significantly more common in RA versus non-RA (odds ratios [OR] = 1.8; 1.9; 4.0; 8.2, resp.). The use of laxatives, proton pump inhibitors, NSAIDs, acetaminophen, and narcotics was more commonly reported in RA versus non-RA (OR = 2.0; 1.7; 3.0; 2.0; 1.9, resp.). Age < 60 and HAQ ≥ 1 were associated with dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and GI symptom complex overlap in RA.


Several upper and lower GI disorders were significantly more prevalent in RA versus non-RA subjects. Age <60 and physical function impairment (HAQ ≥ 1) were associated with GI disorders in RA.


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