Rheumatology International

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 221–226 | Cite as

Functional capacity in rheumatoid arthritis patients: comparison between Spanish and Brazilian sample

  • Maiza Ritomy Ide
  • Miguel A. Gonzalez-Gay
  • Kelly Cristina Yano
  • Marcelo Jun Imai
  • Mario Chueire de AndradeJr.
  • Javier Llorca
Original Article


The main objective of this study is to compare Spanish and Brazilian self-reported health-related functional capacity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). 197 patients diagnosed with RA were studied in Spain (n = 127) and Brazil (n = 70). Pain (Visual analog scale) and functional capacity (Health Assessment Questionnaire/HAQ) were assessed. Patients were questioned about regular exercise practice. Comparisons between groups were performed with Chi-square tests and Student t test. Pearson’s correlation coefficient and linear regression models were used to analyze the associations. Brazilian patients were younger (p = 0.013), had worse levels of pain (p = 0.001) and a trend to experience worse functional capacity (p = 0.057) than Spanish ones. Spanish RA patients had higher body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.019) and longer disease duration (p = 0.001). Also, a higher percentage of subjects with RA from the Spanish cohort had been elected to take early retirement when compared with Brazilian patients (p = 0.010). Spanish RA patients had received more drugs than Brazilians (oral corticosteroids p = 0.010, Leflunomide p = 0.023, Methotrexate p = 0.072, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs p = 0.064, biologic therapies p = 0.001). The functional capacity (HAQ) was correlated with age (p = 0.001), disease duration (p = 0.001), age at diagnosis (p = 0.001), pain (p = 0.001) and BMI (p = 0.001) in Spanish patients. In Brazilian, these correlations were only found with disease duration (p = 0.004) and pain (p = 0.001). In conclusion, our data suggest a better management of RA in Spanish when compared with Brazilians. Even with less pain and functional capacity, they receive more drug treatment and a higher percentage of them are retired early.


Functional capacity Rheumatoid arthritis Brazil Spain 



The authors thank the staff and patients of Hospital Xeral-Calde, Lugo (Spain). We especially thank to Dr. Amalia Sanchez-Andrade, Dr. José Alberto Miranda Filloy, Dr. Tomás Ramón Vázquez Rodríguez members of the Rheumatology Division and Mrs. Susana Escandón nurse from the Rheumatology Division of Hospital Xeral-Calde, Lugo (Spain) for the valuable help in the recruitment of the patients. We also thank to Brazilian National Research and Development Council (CNPq) for supporting Dr. Ide fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maiza Ritomy Ide
    • 1
    • 4
  • Miguel A. Gonzalez-Gay
    • 2
  • Kelly Cristina Yano
    • 1
  • Marcelo Jun Imai
    • 1
  • Mario Chueire de AndradeJr.
    • 1
  • Javier Llorca
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidade Estadual do Oeste do ParanáCascavelBrazil
  2. 2.Hospital Xeral-CaldeLugoSpain
  3. 3.Epidemiology and Computational Biology, School of Medicine and CIBER Epidemiología y Salud PúblicaUniversity of CantabriaSantanderSpain
  4. 4.São José dos CamposBrazil

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