Epidemiology and demographics of juvenile idiopathic arthritis in Africa and Middle East.

Al-Mayouf, S. M., M. Almutairi, K. Bouayed, S. Habjoka, D. Hadef, H. M. Lotfy, C. Scott, E. M. Sharif, and N. Tahoun, "Epidemiology and demographics of juvenile idiopathic arthritis in Africa and Middle East.", Pediatric rheumatology online journal, vol. 19, issue 1, pp. 166, 2021.


Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is a group of chronic heterogenous disorders that manifests as joint inflammation in patients aged <16 years. Globally, approximately 3 million children and young adults are suffering from JIA with prevalence rates consistently higher in girls. The region of Africa and Middle East constitute a diverse group of ethnicities, socioeconomic conditions, and climates which influence the prevalence of JIA. There are only a few studies published on epidemiology of JIA in the region. There is an evident paucity of adequate and latest data from the region. This review summarizes the available data on the prevalence of JIA and its subtypes in Africa and Middle East and discusses unmet needs for patients in this region. A total of 8 journal publications were identified concerning epidemiology and 42 articles describing JIA subtypes from Africa and Middle East were included. The prevalence of JIA in Africa and Middle East was observed to be towards the lower range of the global estimate. We observed that the most prevalent subtype in the region was oligoarticular arthritis. The incidence of uveitis and anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) positivity were found to be lower as compared to the incidence from other regions. There is a huge unmet medical need in the region for reliable epidemiological data, disease awareness, having regional and local treatment guidelines and timely diagnosis. Paucity of the pediatric rheumatologists and economic disparities also contribute to the challenges regarding the management of JIA.