Symptoms in first degree relatives of patients with rheumatoid arthritis: evaluation of cross-sectional data from the symptoms in persons at risk of rheumatoid arthritis (SPARRA) questionnaire in the PRe-clinical EValuation of Novel Targets in RA (PREVeNT-RA) Cohort.

Ruth Costello, Jennifer Humphreys, Jamie Sergeant, M Haris, Fiona Stirling, K Raza, Dirkjan Van Schaardenburg, I. N. Bruce

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Abstract

Background
First degree relatives (FDRs) of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a four-fold increased risk of developing RA. The Symptoms in Persons At Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis (SPARRA) questionnaire was developed to document symptoms in persons at risk of RA. The aims of this study were: 1) to describe symptoms in a cohort of FDRs of patients with RA overall and stratified by seropositivity and elevated CRP and 2) to determine if patient characteristics were associated with symptoms suggestive of RA.
Methods
A cross-sectional study of FDRs of patients with RA, in the PREVeNT-RA study, who completed a study questionnaire, provided a blood sample measured for rheumatoid factor, anti-CCP and CRP and completed the SPARRA questionnaire. Moderate/severe symptoms and symmetrical, small and large joint pain were identified and described. Symptoms associated with both seropositivity and elevated CRP were considered suggestive of RA. Logistic regression was used to determine if symptoms suggestive of RA were associated with patient characteristics.
Results
870 participants provided all data, 43(5%) were seropositive and 122(14%) had elevated CRP. The most frequently reported symptoms were sleep disturbances (20.3%) and joint pain (17.9%). Symmetrical and small joint pain were 11.3% and 12.8% higher, respectively, in those who were seropositive and 11.5% and 10.7% higher in those with elevated CRP. In the logistic regression model, seropositivity, older age and, feeling depressed, and level of education were associated with increased odds of small and symmetrical joint pain.
Conclusions
This is the first time the SPARRA questionnaire has been applied in FDRs of patients with RA and has demonstrated that the presence of symmetrical and small joint pain in this group may be useful in identifying people at higher risk of developing RA.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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