Introduction and objective:Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune inflammatory disorder characterized by persistent joint affection mainly and extra-articular organ involvement as skin, heart and gastrointestinal (GI) systems. Functional GI manifestations are one of the most common extra-articular manifestations of RA as gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Our study aimed to study the prevalence of GERD and IBS among  RA patientsin a Rheumatology Outpatient Clinic in Sohag University Hospital and to assess the relationship of GERD and IBS to clinical factors (age, sex) and medications prescribed for RA.

Patients and methods: We evaluated the prevalence of GERD & IBS in patients with RA and controls using the FSSG questionnaire and Rome III criteria.

Results: Using FSSG scale, we found that the percentage of GERD among RA patients was much higher than control subjects (62% versus 38%; P<0.001). We found that the mean FSSG score for GERD among RA cases was significantly higher than that in control subjects (10.52±8.76 versus 7.96±8.50). As regards IBS, 43% of RA patients of our study were diagnosed as having IBS, compared to 33% of the control subjects. This difference was, however, non-significant (p>0.05).

 Our study showed that 28% of RA patients were diagnosed as having both GERD and IBS, compared to only 13% of the control subjects. This difference was statistically significant (p=0.003). In Conclusion, the prevalence of GERD symptoms in RA patients is significantly higher than that in healthy controls. IBS is also frequent in RA patients (43%) compared to (33%) in healthy controls.IBS and GERD are two common disorders that frequently overlap in RApatients and healthy controls