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Rheumatol Int. 2012 Sep;32(9):2637-43. doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-2009-5. Epub 2011 Jul 24.

Primary Sjögren's syndrome in Moroccan patients: characteristics, fatigue and quality of life.

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Department of Rheumatology (Pr N. Hajjaj-Hassouni), El Ayachi Hospital, University Hospital of Rabat-Sale, 11000 Sale, Morocco.


Our aim was to evaluate fatigue and quality of life (QoL) in Moroccan patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (PSS) and determine their correlates with disease-related parameters. Fifty-seven consecutive patients with PSS according to the American-European Consensus group (AEGG) criteria were included. Demographic, clinical, biological and immunological characteristics for all patients were collected. Xerostomia was demonstrated by histological grading of lower lip glandular biopsy. A Schirmer test was performed to measure lachrymal flow. Oral, ocular, skin, vaginal and tracheal dryness were evaluated by using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Fatigue was assessed by the Multidimensional assessment of fatigue (MAF) and the QoL by using the generic instrument: SF-36. 90% of our patients were women. The mean age of patients was 53.73 ± 7.69 years, and the mean disease duration was 5.38 ± 4.11 years. The mean oral dryness was 68.38 ± 20.29, and the mean ocular dryness was 51.91 ± 14.03. The mean total score of the MAF was 26.73 ± 8.33, and 87.5% of our patients experienced severe fatigue. Also, physical and mental domains of QoL were altered in a significant way, and the severity of fatigue had a negative impact on SF-36 scores. MAF and SF-36 scores were correlated with the delay of diagnosis, the intensity of xerostomia and the activity of joint involvement. A low socioeconomic and educational level had a negative impact on fatigue scores and QoL. Histological grading of lower lip glandular biopsy, immunological status and the severity of systemic involvement had no correlations with fatigue scores or the alteration of QoL. Patients receiving antidepressant have lesser fatigue and those receiving Methotrexate have better SF-36 scores. In our data, there was a high prevalence of fatigue in Moroccan patients with PSS associated with altered QoL. Severe fatigue and reduced QoL seem to be related to the severity of joint involvement, xerostomia and both educational and socioeconomic levels. Also, treatment with methotrexate and antidepressant seems to improve patients' living and QoL. An appropriate therapeutic intervention for depression and articular manifestations in PSS should be applied to improve patients' living.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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