Rheumatology International

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 131–134 | Cite as

Prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in the adult Indian population

  • A. N. Malaviya
  • S. K. Kapoor
  • R. R. Singh
  • A. Kumar
  • I. Pande


The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis was studied in the adult Indian population. As the first step, a house-to-house survey of a rural population near Delhi was conducted by two trained health workers. The target population comprised 44 551 adults (over 16 years old). The health workers identified the possible cases of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using a questionnaire. These cases were then further evaluated by the authors using the 1987 revised ARA criteria for the diagnosis of RA. A response rate of 89.5% was obtained and 3393 persons were listed as possible cases of RA by the health workers. Of these, 299 satisfied the revised ARA criteria for the diagnosis of RA, giving a prevalence of 0.75%. Projected to the whole population, this would give a total of about seven million patients in India. The prevalence of RA in India is quite similar to that reported from the developed countries. It is higher than that reported from China, Indonesia, Philippines and rural Africa. These findings are in keeping with the fact that the north Indian population is genetically closer to the Caucasians than to other ethnic groups.

Key words

Rheumatoid arthritis Epidemiology Prevalence India 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lawrence JS (1977) Rheumatism in populations. Heinemann, London, pp 104–133Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Frosst CE (1982) The impact of arthritis on the Australian community. IMG Consultants, Sydney, pp 1–9Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wolfe AM (1968) The epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis: a review. Bull Rheum Dis 19:518–521Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nuki G, Brooks R, Buchanan WW (1973) Economics of arthritis. Bull Rheum Dis 23:726–733Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cooper B, Rice D (1976) The economic cost of illness revisited. Soc Sci Bull 39:21–36Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Meenan RF, Yelin EH, Henke CJ, Curtis DL, Epstein WV (1978) The costs of rheumatoid arthritis: a patient oriented study of chronic disease costs. Arthritis Rheum 21:827–833Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Yelin E, Feshback DM, Meenan RF, Epstein WV (1979) Social problems, services and policy for persons with chronic diseases: The case of rheumatoid arthritis. Soc Sci Med 130:13–20Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Darby D, Glaser S, Wilkinson I (1981) Health care and life style. New South Wales University Press, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    World Health Organization (1983) Mid-term programme October, no. 13-17, NCD/MTP/83Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sharma A, Malaviya AN, Kapoor SK (1987) Point prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in a semi-rural area near Delhi, India. SEAPAL Bull 5:31–33Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Arnett FC, Edworthy SM, Daniel AB et al (1988) The American Rheumatism Association 1987 revised criteria for classification of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 31:315–324Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mitchell D (1985) Rheumatoid arthritis: etiology, diagnosis, management. In: Utsinger PD, Zvaifler NJ, Ehrlich GE (eds) Epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis. Lippincott, Philadelphia, pp 133–150Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Greenwood BM (1968) Autoimmune diseases and parasitic infections in Nigerians. Lancet II:380–382Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hochberg MC (1983) Epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis in developed countries. J Rheumatol [Suppl] 10:7–9Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Valkenburg HA (1983) Study constraints in African and other epidemiological surveys. J Rheumatol [Suppl] 10:78–81Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Beasley P (1983) Low prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in Chinese. J Rheumatol [Suppl] 10:1–5Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Manahan L, Caragay R, Muirden KD, Allander E, Valkenburg HA, Wigley RD (1985) Rheumatic pain in a Philippine village: a WHO-ILAR COPCORD study. Rheumatol Int 5:149–154Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Darmawan J, Wiraman HS, Soenarto HS, Wigley RD, Muirden KD, Valkenburgh HA (1983) Population study of rheumatic disease in Sermarang and Bandungan. The Indonesian COPCORD. 5th SEAPAL Congress, Bangkok, pp 122–123Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mehra NK, Taneja V, Kailash S, Raizada N, Vaidya MC (1986) Distribution of HLA antigens in a sample of north Indian Hindu population. Tissue Antigens 27:64–74Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Dugowson CE, Nelson JL, Koepsell TD (1989) Evaluation of the 1988 criteria for rheumatoid arthritis: application to a newly diagnosed cohort (abstract). Arthritis Rheum 32 [Suppl]:S63Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Silman AJ (1988) The 1987 revised ARA criteria for rheumatoid arthritis. Br J Rheumatol 27:341–343Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yang JL, Zhang NZ, Dong Y (1989) Comparative study of diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis in Chinese patients. Chung Hua Nei Ko Tsa Chih 28:71–73Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kobayashi S, Sugawara M, Takahashi H et al (1989) Evaluation of the 1987 revised ARA criteria for rheumatoid arthritis in Japan. Ryumachi 29:97–104Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Moens HJB, van der Laar MAFJ, van der Korst JK (1992) Comparison of the sensitivity and specificity of the 1958 and the 1987 criteria for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol 19:198–203Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    World Health Organization/International League Against Rheumatism (1982) Joint taskforce meeting on rheumatic diseases prevention and control. Geneva, 24–26 May (NCD/OND/183.1)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Malaviya AN, Mehra NK, Dasgupta B, Khan KM, Rao URK, Agarwal A, Tiwari SC (1983) Clinical and immunogenetic studies in rheumatoid arthritis in India. Rheumatol Int 3:105–108Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Malaviya AN, Misra R, Banerjee S, Kumar A, Tiwari SC, Bhuyan UN, Guleria JS (1985) Systemic lupus erythematosus in North Indian Asians: a prospective analysis of clinical and immunological features. Rheumatol Int 6:97–101Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Malaviya AN, Kumar A, Singh RR, Sehgal GS, Mehra NK, Tiwari SC (1987) The spectrum of rheumatic diseases as seen by a tertiary referral centre in Northern India. SEAPAL Bull 5:11–17Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. N. Malaviya
    • 1
  • S. K. Kapoor
    • 2
  • R. R. Singh
    • 3
  • A. Kumar
    • 1
  • I. Pande
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Immunology Section, Department of MedicineAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Comprehensive Rural Health Centre, Department of Community MedicineAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Clinical ImmunologySanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical SciencesLucknowIndia

Personalised recommendations