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RA Linked to Increased Risk of Sexual Dysfunction

J Rheumatol; 2018 Oct; Zhao, Li, Wang, et al

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a significantly increased risk of sexual dysfunction (SD), according to a recent study. Therefore, it is suggested that both patients and clinicians should be aware of the potential role of RA in the development of SD. Overall, 44,745 participants (mean age 43.2 years) were included from 7 studies (4 cross-sectional and 3 case-control studies). Of these, 6,642 were patients with RA, with a mean disease duration from 5.7 years to 12.17 years. Researchers found:

  • Synthesis of results demonstrated that RA was significantly associated with an increased risk of SD in females (RR 1.73; heterogeneity: I2 60.3%) as well as in males (RR 1.99).
  • The outcomes related to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach showed that the absolute effect of RA on SD was 10 more per 1,000 (6–15 more); the overall quality of evidence was rated as low.

Zhao S, Li E, Wang J, Luo L, Luo J, Zhao Z. Rheumatoid arthritis and risk of sexual dysfunction: A systematic review and metaanalysis. J Rheumatol. 2018;45(10):1375-1382.