The pattern of rheumatoid arthritis as seen at Kenyatta National Hospital Nairobi, Kenya
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The clinical pattern of Rheumatoid Arthritis was studied and corelated with laboratory findings. The study was done between January 1975 and December 1976. 102 African patients were seen. The Female to Male ratio was 4:1. 80 patients were Kikuyus. According to American Rheumatism Association there were 25 classical, 30 definite, and 47 probable Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. The duration of symptoms ranged from 3 months to 12 years with a mean of 3 • 2 years. The age of presentation peaked at 42 • 5 years. The rheumatoid nodules were seen in 20 out of 102 patients. Other extra articular manifestation were not seen. 39 patients had erosive changes in the X-ray. Rheumatoid factor was positive in 61 patients using SCAT. The classical rheumatoid arthritis had severe disease and those with nodules had high titres of rheumatoid factor. The disease is not rare as reported in literature previously. The pattern of disease is severe at Kenyatta National Hospital as compared to West Africa and comparable to Caucasian pattern. Rheumatoid Factor is a useful diagnostic test in Rheumatoid Arthritis in patients seen in Kenyatta National Hospital.