Rheumatological findings and rheumatic diseases may be associated with hepatitis virus infection. This study assessed the frequency of these manifestations in a reference unit in Acre, Brazil.
This was a cross-sectional study with a convenience sample of patients having their first consultation at the rheumatology outpatient clinics of a referral unit in Rio Branco, Acre, from March to November 2017. Sociodemographic, clinical, laboratory, and imaging data registereds using a standardized questionnaire form.
Among the 600 patients with rheumatic complaints, 3.0% were newly diagnosed with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), and 8.7% were previously diagnosed with hepatitis. Among the 70 patients with hepatitis, 54.3% were carriers of HBV and 45.7% of HCV. For patients infected with HBV and HCV, arthralgia was the most prevalent rheumatic manifestation in 97.4% and 90.6%, followed by myalgia in 81.6% and 65.6%, and arthritis in 26.3% and 40.6% of patients, respectively, according to the descriptive analysis performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software. In comparative analyses using the chi-squared test, despite the fact that fibromyalgia was the most prevalent rheumatic disease only the Rheumatoid Arthritis there were differences in distribution between the carriers of HCV (18.8%) and HBV (2.6%). According to the Fisher’s exact test, hypothyroidism was the most frequent comorbidity in patients with HCV (21.9%).
An increased frequency of musculoskeletal manifestations, better than those reported in the medical literature, in patients infected with HBV and HCV was observed.