Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 601–606 | Cite as

Sexual dysfunction in rheumatoid arthritis patients: arthritis and beyond

  • Y. El MiedanyEmail author
  • M. El Gaafary
  • N. El Aroussy
  • S. Youssef
  • I. Ahmed
Original Article


Rheumatoid arthritis treatment has been shown to improve quality of life. There is little data regarding the impact of the disease and treatments on sexual function. The aim of this study was to describe the results of an assessment of sexual activity/sexual satisfaction of rheumatoid arthritis patients, identify the sexual dysfunction features, and assess their association with disease activity/disease activity parameters and other systemic risk factors/comorbidities. Consecutive rheumatoid arthritis patients attending the outpatient rheumatology clinic completed the multidimensional patient-reported outcome measures questionnaire. There are three questions screening for sexual dysfunction: patients who ticked any of the boxes were further assessed. Men completed the Sexual Health Inventory for Men; whereas women completed the Female Sexual Function Index. All patients underwent clinical assessment of disease activity parameters and cardiovascular risk. Among 231 rheumatoid arthritis patients included in this study, 49/91 (53.8%) men and 64/140 (45.7%) women reported sexual dysfunction. Among men, erectile dysfunction significantly correlated (p < 0.01) with pain score, cardiovascular disease, age, disease activity, fatigue score, intramuscular steroid injection, and tender joint count. Among women, sexual dysfunction was significantly correlated (p < 0.01) with occurrence of secondary Sjogren's syndrome, pain score, cardiovascular disease, hip joint involvement, disease activity, and tender joint count. Sexual dysfunction is common among rheumatoid arthritis patients. Erectile dysfunction in men, and problems with orgasm, arousal, and satisfaction in women, were the most prevalent manifestations. The significant correlation of sexual dysfunction with CVD may help to identify patients at high risk of cardiovascular disorders.


PROMs Rheumatoid arthritis Sexual dysfunction 





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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. El Miedany
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • M. El Gaafary
    • 3
  • N. El Aroussy
    • 1
  • S. Youssef
    • 1
  • I. Ahmed
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Rheumatology and RehabilitationAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Darent Valley HospitalKentUK
  3. 3.Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of MedicineAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineCairo UniversityCairoEgypt

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