Does the course of disease influence the development of fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis patients?

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) typically have many permanently inflamed joints. The inflammation inside the body can lead to general physical weakness, exhaustion, and drowsiness. This feeling of extreme tiredness is also called “fatigue”. Some people find this to be the worst symptom of the disease. However, the clinical significance of fatigue and its pathogenesis have not been recognised. This study aimed to determine the development of fatigue depending on activity and aggressiveness of RA. To achieve the goal, patients were interviewed and indicators of disease activity and aggressiveness were determined: rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C reactive protein (CRP), immunoglobulins IgA RF, IgM RF, IgG RF and anti-carbamylated protein antibodies (anti-CarP). Based on the results of the survey, RA patients were divided into two groups - with and without fatigue. In the group of RA patients with fatigue, statistically more often an increase in IgA RF, IgM RF, and IgG RF levels was observed in those with elevated RF level, higher IgM RF and IgG RF levels were associated with increase in IgA RF level, and increase in the IgG RF and anti-CarP levels with elevation in the IgM RF level. A higher IgG RF level contributed to a higher anti-CarP level increase. Significant differences in the levels of clinical and laboratory inflammatory markers were not observed between the RA patients with and without fatigue. The obtained data suggest that the aggressive course of RA, more than inflammation, may contribute to the development of fatigue in RA patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Section B: Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Aggressiveness
  • Disease activity
  • Immunology
  • Tiredness

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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