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J Rheumatol Suppl. 2011 Jan;86:21-5. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.100954.

Prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and rheumatic diseases in the southeastern region of Mexico. A COPCORD-based community survey.

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Unidad de Investigación Médica, Unidad Médica de Alta Especialidad, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mérida, Yucatán, México.



To assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal (MSK) pain and rheumatic diseases in the southeastern Mexican state of Yucatán.


Using the Community Oriented Program in the Rheumatic Diseases (COPCORD) methodology, we performed a door-to-door, cross-sectional study generated through a multistage, stratified, randomized method on 3915 adult residents (age 42.7 ± 17.1 yrs; women 61.8%; urban setting 45.7%) of the Mexican state of Yucatán. We used universally accepted criteria for the diagnosis or classification of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA; knee and hand), fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), gout, ankylosing spondylitis, regional rheumatic pain syndromes, and inflammatory back pain.


Nontraumatic MSK pain in the last 7 days was present in 766 (19.6%; 95% CI 18.3-20.8) individuals. MSK pain was more prevalent in women (26.6%) versus men (12.2%; p < 0.01). Self-reported MSK disability occurred in 1.7%. Most MSK pain-related variables were consistently more prevalent in the urban setting. The prevalence of rheumatic disease was: OA 6.8% (95% CI 6.0-7.6); back pain 3.8% (95% CI 3.2-4.4); RA 2.8% (95% CI 2.2-3.3); rheumatic regional pain syndromes 2.3% (95% CI 1.9-2.8); inflammatory back pain 0.7% (95% CI 0.5-1.0); fibromyalgia 0.2% (95% CI 0.1-0.4); gout 0.1% (95% CI 0.07-0.3); and SLE 0.07% (95% CI 0.01-0.2).


The prevalence of MSK pain was 19.6%. MSK pain was more prevalent in women and in the urban setting. A remarkably high prevalence of RA was found in this population, which suggests a role for geographic factors.

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