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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2002 Feb;41(2):167-75.

Health-care use by rheumatoid arthritis patients compared with non-arthritic subjects.

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EA 3444 and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nancy, France.



To compare the use of health-care by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and non-arthritic subjects (NA) and to look for factors determining their patterns of health-care use.


A multicentre cohort of 223 RA and 446 NA subjects matched for age, gender, period of data collection and residence were questioned about their use of health-care services. Patterns of health-care use were identified by principal components analysis. Factors determining the use of health-care services were assessed by multiple linear and logistic regression analysis.


The proportions of RA subjects who declared having had at least one contact with the health-care system in the previous 12 months and in the previous 4 weeks were higher than those for NA subjects for all health and social professionals except dentists and homeopaths. Types of health-care use explored were hospital, prescribed, general ambulatory and specialized ambulatory care. Factors determining health-care use were disease status, administrative area, employment status and age.


RA subjects use health-care services more widely than NA subjects. Variation in recourse behaviour is related to differences within administrative areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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