Background: Little is known about the association between juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) and therefore there are no indications for AITD screening in this population, which is possible using standard blood tests. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence and predictors of symptomatic AITD in JIA patients from the international Pharmachild registry. Methods: Occurrence of AITD was determined from adverse event forms and comorbidity reports. Associated factors and independent predictors for AITD were determined using univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses. Results: The prevalence of AITD after a median observation period of 5.5 years was 1.1% (96/8965 patients). Patients who developed AITD were more often female (83.3% vs. 68.0%), RF positive (10.0% vs. 4.3%) and ANA positive (55.7% vs. 41.5%) than patients who did not. AITD patients were furthermore older at JIA onset (median 7.8 years vs. 5.3 years) and had more often polyarthritis (40.6% vs. 30.4%) and a family history of AITD (27.5% vs. 4.8%) compared to non-AITD patients. A family history of AITD (OR = 6.8, 95% CI: 4.1 – 11.1), female sex (OR = 2.2, 95% CI: 1.3 – 4.3), ANA positivity (OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.3 – 3.2) and older age at JIA onset (OR = 1.1, 95% CI: 1.1 – 1.2) were independent predictors of AITD on multivariable analysis. Based on our data, 16 female ANA positive JIA patients with a family history of AITD would have to be screened during ±5.5 years using standard blood tests to detect one case of AITD. Conclusions: This is the first study to report independent predictor variables for symptomatic AITD in JIA. Female ANA positive JIA patients with positive family history are at increased risk of developing AITD and thus might benefit from yearly serological screening.
- Autoimmune thyroid disease
- Graves’ disease
- Hashimoto’s disease
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis