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J Rheumatol Suppl. 2011 Jan;86:3-8. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.100951.

Epidemiology of the rheumatic diseases in Mexico. A study of 5 regions based on the COPCORD methodology.

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  • 1Rheumatology Department, Hospital General de México, Mexico City, México.

Erratum in

  • J Rheumatol Suppl. 2011 Mar;38(3):585.



To estimate the prevalence of musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders and to describe predicting variables associated with rheumatic diseases in 5 regions of México.


This was a cross-sectional, community-based study performed in 5 regions in México. The methodology followed the guidelines proposed by the Community Oriented Program for the Control of the Rheumatic Diseases (COPCORD). A standardized methodology was used at all sites, with trained personnel following a common protocol of interviewing adult subjects in their household. A "positive case" was defined as an individual with nontraumatic MSK pain of > 1 on a visual analog pain scale (0 to 10) during the last 7 days. All positive cases were referred to internists or rheumatologists for further clinical evaluation, diagnosis, and proper treatment.


The study included 19,213 individuals; 11,602 (68.8%) were female, and their mean age was 42.8 (SD 17.9) years. The prevalence of MSK pain was 25.5%, but significant variations (7.1% to 43.5%) across geographical regions occurred. The prevalence of osteoarthritis was 10.5%, back pain 5.8%, rheumatic regional pain syndromes 3.8%, rheumatoid arthritis 1.6%, fibromyalgia 0.7%, and gout 0.3%. The prevalence of MSK manifestations was associated with older age and female gender.


The prevalence of MSK pain in our study was 25.5%. Geographic variations in the prevalence of MSK pain and specific diagnoses suggested a role for geographic factors in the prevalence of rheumatic diseases.

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