To study a sample of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients for their gynecological/obstetric history and compare them to controls to determine their influences on number of pregnancies, menarche, menopause and reproductive years following RA onset.
 This is a cross-sectional study of 122 RA patients and 126 controls. Patients and controls were questioned about age of menarche, age of menopause, number of pregnancies and abortions. Reproductive years were calculated as the difference between age at menopause and age at menarche. For comparison, we used the Mann-Whitney, unpaired , chi-squared, and Spearman tests. The adopted significance was 5%.
 In the RA patients with disease beginning in the postmenopausal years, the period of reproductive years (age at menopause – age of menarche) showed a positive correlation with age at disease onset (rho = 0.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.20-0.55 with  = 0.0008). The number of pregnancies was higher in patients with postmenopausal disease onset when compared with those with premenopausal disease onset (median of 3 with interquartile range [IQR] = 2-4 versus median of 2 with IQR = 1-3;  = 0.009), and RA patients had more pregnancies than controls ( = 0.0002).
 The present study shows that, in our population, the duration of reproductive years and the number of pregnancies are linked to the onset of RA.

Federação Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetrícia. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (