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Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis , medicine

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OBJECTIVES: To see the pattern of rheumatoid disease in local population. SETTING: Department ofMedicine Medical Unit-II, Allied Hospital PMC, Faisalabad. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A totalnumber of eighty patients of different age and sex groups suffering from rheumatoid arthritis according toAmerican rheumatism association criteria were included in the study. A detailed history and physicalexamination was made to see the pattern of joint involvement and extra articular rheumatoid disease.RESULTS: The disease was clearly predominant in females (73.3%), with incidence of onset in forthdecade. Patients presented typically with pain, welling and stiffness of joints (71%). The most common jointdeformity was ulnar deviation of hands (1.7%). Extra articular disease was less common (15%). ESR wasraised above normal in almost all the cases. Rheumatoid factor was positive in 80% of the cases.CONCLUSION: Extra articular rheumatoid disease is less common in local population , Rheumatoid factoris of great help in diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis as compared to other laboratory investigations availablefor diagnosing inflammatory joint disease. Aspirin should be the drug of first choice in treatment ofrheumatoid arthritis. Side effects with Aspirin were not serious and were tolerable. In our countrycorticosteroid are being given un-necessarily by most of practicing physicians and quacks. Patients are puton steroids indefinitely without follow-up. This should be discouraged as most of the patients do well withfirst line therapy and go into remission. Only few cases need second line drugs like gold, penicillamine andcorticosteroids.


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