Original Article

Rheumatology International

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 29-38

First online:

Prevalence and correlates of inflammatory arthritis in Germany: data from the First National Health Survey

  • S. SchneiderAffiliated withResearch Department, Orthopädische Universitätsklinik Heidelberg Email author 
  • , G. SchmittAffiliated withResearch Department, Orthopädische Universitätsklinik Heidelberg
  • , W. RichterAffiliated withResearch Department, Orthopädische Universitätsklinik Heidelberg

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The aim of this paper is to generate data on the prevalence of inflammatory arthritis in different subgroups of the population and to identify correlates on the basis of population-based cross-sectional data: the “First National Health Survey of the Federal Republic of Germany”. This Survey investigated the prevalence of inflammatory arthritis, comorbidity and health-relevant behaviors on the basis of interviews with physicians and medical evaluations conducted in the period from October 1997 to March 1999. The study was based on a net sample comprising 6,461 subjects aged 18–79. Our data demonstrate an overall prevalence of 3.4% for inflammatory arthritis. The prevalence of inflammatory arthritis is significantly higher in women, the over-50, lower-income groups, and habitual smokers. Patients with inflammatory arthritis have a higher rate of numerous comorbidities such as osteoporosis, thyroid disease, chronic bronchial disease, hypertension, and elevated blood lipids versus healthy reference groups.


Inflammatory arthritis Survey Epidemiologic determinants Correlates Prevalence