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Burden of Sexual Dysfunction in Women with RA

J Rheumatol; ePub 2018 Sep 1; Puchner, et al

Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is highly prevalent in female patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), affects all subdomains of sexual function, and is most likely underestimated in daily clinical practice, according to a recent study. FSD, however, could not be linked to disability or RA disease activity. Researchers conducted an anonymous survey among women with RA and healthy controls (HCs) using standardized questionnaires, predominantly the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire-short form (CSFQ-14). In addition, disease activity, depression, and disability were evaluated. There were 319 questionnaires distributed to patients and 306 to HCs. Of these, 235 patient questionnaires (73.7%) and 180 HC questionnaires (58.8%) were returned, of which 203 and 169 were completed, respectively. They found:

  • Of the patients with RA, 47.8% had a total CSFQ-14 score of ≤ 41, indicating FSD, as compared to 14.2% of HCs.
  • The median CSFQ-14 score was lower in patients with RA than in HCs, resulting in an odds ratio (OR) of 5.53.
  • After adjustment for confounders, given a higher mean age of patients (55.2 ± 11.3 years) than HCs (47.4 ± 11.8 years), the OR for FSD in patients with RA was still 3.04.

Puchner R, Sautner J, Gruber J, et al. High burden of sexual dysfunction in female patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Results of a cross-sectional study. [Published online ahead of print September 1, 2018]. J Rheumatol. doi:10.3899/jrheum.171287.

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