The risk of rheumatoid arthritis among patients with inflammatory bowel disease
A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Studies have suggested that patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the available data on this association are inconsistent. This meta-analysis aimed to determine the association between IBD and the risk of RA.
Observational studies investigating the RA risk among patients with IBD (Crohn disease (CD) and/or ulcerative colitis (UC)) were searched in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science from the date of inception to December 2019. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Relative risks (RRs) and corresponding 95% confidential intervals (CIs) were pooled with a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was evaluated using I2 statistics while publication bias was determined using Begg’s and Egger’s tests. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed.
A total of three cohort studies, three cross-sectional studies, and two case-control studies were included in the meta-analyses. Compared to the non-IBD control or general population, there was a significantly higher risk of RA among patients with IBD (RR = 2.59; 95% CI: 1.93–3.48). Moreover, both CD (RR = 3.14; 95% CI: 2.46–4.01) and UC (RR = 2.29; 95% CI: 1.76–2.97) were associated with a significantly increased risk of RA. However, heterogeneity was substantial across studies and the subgroup analyses failed to identify the potential source of heterogeneity.
Patients with IBD have a greater risk of developing RA. Rheumatologists should be consulted when patients with IBD present with undifferentiated joint complaints. However, more prospective cohort studies are needed to validate these results.
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