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J Rheumatol. 2003 Jul;30(7):1589-601.


Prevalence of Rheumatic Diseases in Greece: A Cross-Sectional Population Based Epidemiological Study. The ESORDIG Study.


Andrianakos A, Trontzas P, Christoyannis F, Dantis P, Voudouris C, Georgountzos A, Kaziolas G, Vafiadou E, Pantelidou K, Karamitsos D, Kontelis L, Krachtis P, Nikolia Z, Kaskani E, Tavaniotou E, Antoniades C, Karanikolas G, Kontoyanni A.

Rheumatic Disease Epidemiology Section, Hellenic Foundation for Rheumatological Research, Athens, Greece.


OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of rheumatic diseases in Greek urban, suburban, and rural adult general populations.


METHODS: This cross-sectional population based epidemiological study of rheumatic diseases in Greece (the ESORDIG Study) was conducted on the total adult population of 2 urban, one suburban, and 4 rural communities (8547 subjects), as well as on 2100 out of 5686 randomly selected subjects in one suburban and one rural community. The study, based on a standardized questionnaire and clinical evaluation and laboratory investigation when necessary, was carried out by rheumatologists who visited the target population at their homes. Either established classification criteria or criteria set for the purposes of the study were used for diagnosis.


RESULTS: A total of 8740 subjects participated in the study (response rate 82.1%). The overall age and sex adjusted prevalence (prevalenceasa) of rheumatic diseases in the total target adult population was 26.9% (95% CI 26.2-27.6), being significantly higher among women (33.7%) than men (19.9%) (p < 0.0005). Disease prevalenceasa increased significantly with age (p < 0.0005). The most common disease group was low back pain, with a prevalenceasa of 11.0%, followed by symptomatic peripheral osteoarthritis (7.9%), neck pain (4.8%), miscellaneous rheumatic disorders (4.4%), soft tissue rheumatism disorders (4.3%), and inflammatory rheumatic disease (2.1%). Logistic regression analysis showed a significant positive association of female or male sex, age >/= 50 years, high body mass index, low level of education, moderate or heavy alcohol consumption, and high socioeconomic level with particular diseases or disease groups.


CONCLUSION: These findings indicate rheumatic diseases are very common in the general adult population of Greece; 26.9% of adults currently have active or chronic rheumatic disease in remission.




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