What is the global incidence of reactive arthritis (ReA)?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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The infections that incite ReA may vary with geographic location. For example, Y enterocolitica is more commonly identified in Europe than in North America and thus is responsible for more cases of ReA in countries such as Finland and Norway. [15] The occurrence of ReA appears to be related to the prevalence of HLA-B27 in a population and to the rate of urethritis/cervicitis and infectious diarrhea.

More than 40 subtypes of HLA-B27 are known; those associated with the spondyloarthropathies are HLA-B2702, B2704, and B2705. [27] These subtypes may be somewhat geographically segregated. For example, the subtype B2705 is found predominantly in Latin America, Brazil, Taiwan, and parts of India. It is noteworthy that subtypes HLA-B2706 and B2709—found in native Indonesia and Sardinia, respectively—may be partially protective against ReA. [63]

In Norway, an annual incidence of 4.6 cases per 100,000 population for chlamydial ReA and an incidence of 5 cases per 100,000 population for enteric bacteria–induced ReA were reported in 1988-1990. In Finland, nearly 2% of males were found to have ReA after nongonococcal urethritis; the incidence of HLA-B27 is higher in the Finnish population. In the United Kingdom, the incidence of ReA after urethritis is about 0.8%. In the Czech Republic, the annual incidence of ReA in adults during 2002-2003 was reported at 9.3 cases per 100,000 population. [64]

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