Disease patterns of rheumatology outpatients seen in a tertiary hospital serving a multi-ethnic, urban Asian population in Singapore

Authors


Correspondence: Professor Julian Thumboo, Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Singapore General Hospital, Outram Road, Singapore 169608.

Email: julian.thumboo@sgh.com.sg

Abstract

Aims

To describe the spectrum of diseases seen in an outpatient setting in the Singapore General Hospital, the largest tertiary referral centre in Singapore.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study, medical records of patients scheduled for an appointment at the rheumatology specialist outpatient clinics over a 4-month period (10 August 2010–31 December 2010) were reviewed. Primary diagnoses documented by the attending physician at the latest visit were recorded.

Results

Among 4180 patients (29.5% male; mean [SD] age: 53.5 [15.1] years; 77.0% Chinese, 8.0% Malay, 8.8% Indian and 6.2% others), the spectrum of diseases seen was as follows [disease – definite n (%), probable n (%)]: Arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis – 958 (22.9%), 68 (1.6%); osteoarthritis – 452 (10.8%), 39 (0.9%); crystal arthritis – 417 (10.0%), 18 (0.4%); spondyloarthritis – 227 (5.4%), 61 (1.5%); psoriatic arthritis – 158 (3.8%), 9 (0.2%); other inflammatory arthritis – 153 (3.7%), 94 (2.2%); Connective tissues diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus – 412 (9.9%), 26 (0.6%); vasculitis – 105 (2.5%), 22 (0.5%); Sjögren's syndrome – 81 (1.9%), 32 (0.8%); overlap syndromes – 73 (1.8%); scleroderma – 50 (1.2%), 4 (0.1%); undifferentiated connective tissue diseases – 45 (1.1%), 106 (2.5%); myositis – 41 (1.0%), 12 (0.3%); antiphospholipid syndrome – 22 (0.5%), 7 (0.2%); polymyalgia rheumatica – 16 (0.4%); Others: soft tissue rheumatism – 155 (3.7%); osteoporosis – 61 (1.5%); other non-rheumatologic conditions – 189 (4.5%); other rheumatologic conditions – 67 (1.6%).

Conclusion

Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and crystal arthritis were the three most common rheumatological diseases seen in a tertiary referral centre serving a multi-ethnic urban Asian population in Singapore.

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