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Correlation of vitamin D levels and pain in rheumatoid arthritis

H K S Chawla, Gaurav Kumar Gupta, Hari Om Aggarwal, Girish Sahni, Ashish Kavia.


Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, loss of joint function, and a rise in acute-phase reactant levels. Pain causes much discomfort in patients with RA. Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, and Glucocorticoids are commonly used to treat RA, but these medications alleviate the inflammatory process to improve short- and long-term goals of treatment. Vitamin D has immunomodulatory properties that may be effective in RA patients, suggesting that Vitamin D may have a remedial effect in these patients.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of vitamin D in controlling the inflammatory response thus controlling pain in patients with RA.

Materials and Methods: The study analyzed 96 diagnosed cases of RA presenting to our tertiary care center. The subjects were allocated into two groups one in which Vitamin D was supplemented and other in which placebo was given. Their disease activity was measured and VAS score was analyzed at presentation and 1 month and 3 months of follow-up.

Results: At presentation levels of Vitamin D were inversely correlated with disease activity. Mean VAS score decreased subsequently during the follow up from 3.2 ± 1.7 at presentation to 2.25 ± 1.12 in Vitamin D group and from 4.38 ± 1.79 at presentation to 2.67 ± 1.19 at 3 months follow-up in placebo group, respectively.

Conclusion: Vitamin D supplementation did not statistically significantly improved the VAS score thus requiring the need for further research for the evaluation of Vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of RA.

Key words: Rheumatoid Arthritis; Vitamin D; Disease Severity; Visual Analog Scale

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