This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders and rheumatic diseases among the indigenous Qom (Toba) population in the city of Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. An analytical cross-sectional study using methodology of the Community Oriented Program for the Control of Rheumatic Diseases (COPCORD) was performed. Subjects ≥18 years of age were interviewed by advanced students of medicine and nursing, bilingual translator-facilitators, and coordinators. Individuals with musculoskeletal pain (positive cases) were evaluated sequentially for 7 days by internists and rheumatologists for diagnosis and treatment. The study included 1656 individuals (77 % of the census population). Of these, 1020 (61.5 %) were female, with mean age of 35.3 (SD 13.9) years, and 1028 (62.0 %) were bilingual. The public health care system covers 87.1 % of the population. Musculoskeletal pain in the previous 7 days and/or at some time during their life was present in 890 subjects (53.7 %). Of those with pain in the last 7 days, 302 (64.1 %) subjects had an Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) score ≥0.8. The most frequent pain sites were lumbar spine (19.3 %), knees (13.0 %), and hands (12.0 %). The prevalence of rheumatic diseases was as follows: mechanical back pain (20.1 %), rheumatic regional pain syndrome (2.9 %), osteoarthritis (4.0 %) rheumatoid arthritis (2.4 %), inflammatory back pain (0.2 %), systemic sclerosis (0.1 %), Sjögren syndrome (0.1 %), fibromyalgia (0.1 %), mixed connective tissue disease (0.06 %), and systemic lupus erythematosus (0.06 %). The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders was 53.7 % and rheumatic diseases 29.6 %. Rheumatoid arthritis prevalence was 2.4 % using COPCORD methodology, one of the highest reported at present.
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