Objective To identify relationships between different variables associated with patient reported level of abdominal discomfort measured by visual analogue scale(VAS).
Methods All patients in the Oslo Rheumatoid Arthritis Registry(ORAR) (n=1793, 78,5% females) were asked to complete a comprehensive set of questionnaires (response rate 58,1%, 78,1% females, mean age(SD) 61,7(15,0) years and mean disease duration(SD) 14,1(10,9) years. Study variables included demographic variables, medication, VAS-scales (e.g. fatigue, abdominal discomfort and global disease activity), HAQ, MHAQ, Aims2, SF-36, SF-6d, quality of life measures and self-efficacy scales.
Results Mean(SD) score for abdominal pain VAS was 21,7(25,3). NSAIDs and coxibs were used by respectively 27,6% and 28,8% at present, 76,6% and 37,8% previously. The abdominal discomfort score were highly significantly (p<0,001)correlated to global disease activity (r=0,38), fatigue (r=0,38), general pain (r=0,35), Aims2 affect (r=0,34) as well as several other health measures (e.g. HAQ, MHAQ and Aims2 (r l0,3)). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed a significant relationship between presence of abdominal discomfort and NSAIDs(OR 2,06, SD1,42-2,99, p<0,001), coxibs (OR 1,83 SD 1,27-2,62, p=0,001), Aims2 affect (OR 1,23 SD1,11-1,37, p<0,001), global disease activity (OR 1,02, 1,01-1,02, p=0,001) and HAQ (OR 1,38 SD1,02-1,86, p=0,038) but no relationship with age or gender. Linear regression analysis confirmed these findings for aims2-affect, global disease activity, age and gender in addition to fatigue.
Conclusion. Our results indicate that perception of other symptoms is associated with perceived abdominal discomfort and contribute to the understanding that abdominal discomfort has a multifactorial pathogenesis where traits seem to be one important contributor. The most important predictors for reporting GI-discomfort was global disease activity, Aims2-affect, HAQ and current use of nsaids/coxibs.