- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) raises the risk for sexual dysfunction (SD) by nearly 2-fold in a meta-analysis.
Why this matters
- Patients should be advised that RA is a risk factor for SD.
- Meta-analysis of 7 studies (4 cross-sectional and 3 case-control; n=44,745) that met eligibility criteria after a search of MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library.
- 6642 of the 44,745 participants had RA (mean duration, 5.7-12.17 years).
- Funding: None disclosed.
- RA was associated with a 73% increased risk for SD in women (relative risk [RR], 1.73; 95% CI, 1.36-2.22; I2, 60.3%), and with a 99% increased risk of SD in men (RR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.64-2.43; heterogeneity not reported).
- Case-control studies had higher risk for SD (RR, 1.94; 95% CI, 1.38-2.74) than cross-sectional studies (RR, 1.61; P<.001>
- The average rate of SD among patients with RA was 6.1% vs 1.3% in patients without RA, and the absolute effect of RA on SD was 10 (range, 6-15) more cases per 1000, according to analysis of outcomes by the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach.
- High heterogeneity across studies.