Frequency of Sexual Dysfunction in Relation to Disease Activity in Female Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Background: Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects all aspects of life including sexual function.
Objectives: To identify the frequency of sexual dysfunction and its relationship with activity of disease in female rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Methodology: It was a cross-sectional study. A total 93 female rheumatoid arthritis patients were recruited by convenient sampling from rheumatology clinic of Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore. Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) used to label sexual dysfunction and the Disease Activity Score (DAS-28) was used to assess the activity of disease. Independent sample t-test was used to compare means among groups with and without sexual dysfunction. Spearman correlation coefficient was used to see the association of FSFI with DAS-28 and confounding variables. Linear regression was applied to see the effect of DAS-28 in the presence of age and duration of disease. FSFI score was compared among three groups of disease activity based on severity by one-way ANOVA. P-value of ≤0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Survey evidence of sexual dysfunction was found in 54.8% of rheumatoid arthritis cases. The age, duration of disease and DAS-28 score were significantly different among the two groups based on sexual dysfunction status. These three factors were significantly associated with FSFI with correlations of -0.484, -0.453 and -0.231. Mean FSFI score found significantly lower in group with the moderate activity as compared to remission and low activity group with p-values of 0.011 and 0.013.
Conclusion: The sexual dysfunction is associated with activity of disease along with age and duration of rheumatoid arthritis.
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