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Evaluation of Sexual Dysfunction in Females With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis , sexual dysfunction

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Ob-jec-ti-ve: To investigate the influence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on sexual functioning in female patients and to compare the results with data from the general population. Metarials and Methods: One hundred women with RA and 45 age- and body mass index-matched healthy women were included in the study. Clinical parameters, health status of the patients during activities of daily living, functional classifications of patients, activity of disease, scores of articular index, hand grip values, laboratory activity parameters and radiological damage at the hands, wrists, ankles, knees, and hips were evaluated. The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and the Beck Depression Index (BDI) were used in both groups. Correlations between the disease parameters and the total score and individual scores of 6 domain structure of FSFI (desire, subjective arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain) were analysed. Results: The mean age of the patients was 44.8±8.2 (21-60) years and controls was 44.7±8.5 (26-59) years (p>0.05). Total and subunit FSFI scores were significantly lower in RA group than in controls (p<0.001, p<0.001 to p<0.01, respectively). BDI scores were also significantly higher in RA group (p<0.001). It was found that all parameters, which affecting the progress of disease, also had negative effects on sexual function in RA group. Regression analysis showed that the correlations between the sexual dysfunction and age (elderly), the duration of disease, high functional class, high health status score and high BDI score were more significant than the other parameters. Conclusion: In this study, sexual dysfunction was found to be more frequent among RA patients than in the normal population. Turk J Phys Med Re-hab 2012;58:36-46.


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