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Highly Accessed Editorial

Comparing the prevalence of rheumatic diseases in China with the rest of the world

David T Felson

Author Affiliations

Clinical Epidemiology Research & Training Unit, 650 Albany Street, Suite X-200, Boston, MA 02118-2526, USA

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:106  doi:10.1186/ar2369


See related research by Zeng et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/10/1/R17

Published: 25 February 2008

Abstract

Geographic or ethnic differences in the occurrence of disease often provide insights into causes of disease and possible opportunities for disease prevention. Persons in China appear to have a consistently lower prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia than persons in the United States and Europe; reasons for these prevalence differences might include genetic differences, differences in environmental exposures or a combination of both. With increasing obesity, gout is becoming endemic in China. Finally, symptomatic knee osteoarthritis is extremely common in China and constitutes a major public health problem there.