Patterns of background factors related to early RA patients' conceptions of the cause of their disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of the present study was to identify patterns of background factors related to the early RA patients' conceptions of the cause of the disease. Conceptions from a qualitative study formed the basis for the stratification of 785 patients from the Swedish EIRA study answering a question about their own thoughts about the cause to RA. Logistic regression analyses were used to explore the associations between patients' conceptions and relevant background factors: sex, age, civil status, educational level, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (anti-CCP) and smoking habits. The results were presented as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). A conception of family-related strain was strongly associated with being young (OR 0.50; 95% CI 0.33-0.78 for age 58-70 vs. 17-46), female (OR 0.38; 95% CI 0.25-0.60 for male vs. female) and having a high level of education (OR 2.15; 95% CI 1.54-3.01 for university degree vs. no degree). A conception of being exposed to climate changes was associated with being male (OR 1.99; 95% CI 1.24-3.22 for male vs. female), having a low level of education (OR 0.33; 95% CI 0.18-0.58 for university degree vs. no degree) and positive Anti-CCP (OR 1.72; 95% CI 1.03-2.87 for positive vs. negative Anti-CCP). Linking patients' conceptions of the cause of their RA to background factors potentially could create new opportunities for understanding the complexity of the aetiology in RA. Furthermore, this information is important and relevant in the care of patients with early RA.


  • Ulrika Bergsten
  • Stefan Bergman
  • Bengt Fridlund
  • Lars Alfredsson
  • Anita Berglund
  • Barbro Arvidsson
  • Ingemar Petersson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


  • Pathogenesis, Patient perspective, Rheumatoid arthritis, Risk factors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-352
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch