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Ann Rheum Dis. 1999 Jul;58(7):415-22.

Sicca symptoms, saliva and tear production, and disease variables in 636 patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

(1) To estimate the prevalence of ocular and oral sicca symptoms (SISY) or reduced saliva and tear production; (2) to relate SISY and sicca signs to measures of disease activity, damage, and health status; and (3) to examine the relation between symptoms and objective signs of tear and saliva production in a large sample of representative patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

METHODS:

From an unselective county RA register 636 patients (age 20-70 years) were examined with Schirmer-I test (ST), unstimulated whole saliva (UWS), questions on SISY and measures of disease activity, damage and health status.

RESULTS:

Ocular sicca symptoms were reported in 38%, oral sicca symptoms in 50%, and a combination of both in 27%. Reduced tear production was present in 29%, and reduced saliva production in 17%. The minimum frequency of secondary Sjögren's syndrome was 7%. Measurements of exocrine disease manifestations were to variable extents bivariately correlated to disease activity measures, physical disability, pain, fatigue, and use of xerogenic drugs, but were not related to deformed joint count. Multivariate analyses revealed significant associations between disease activity and reduced saliva production. Only weak associations between SISY and tear or saliva production were observed.

CONCLUSION:

SISY, reduced tear and saliva production were frequent extra-articular manifestations in RA, but were only weakly intercorrelated. High disease activity and at least two SISY were independent predictors of reduced saliva production, but ocular and oral dryness did not seem to be closely related to disease duration, disease activity, damage or health status.

PMID:
10381485
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1752918
Free PMC Article

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