Objective: To report demographic and self-reported clinical characteristics associated with persistent and severe arthralgia 8–12 months post-chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of 306 adults who self-reported CHIKV infection was conducted. Subjects were consecutively enrolled at public primary healthcare centres in urban and rural areas in Jamaica. Adults with arthralgic conditions were compared with those who reported no arthralgia. Binary logistic regression models were used to determine demographic and self-reported clinical factors associated with severe arthralgia and persistent arthralgia.
Results: Most subjects (70.3%) reported arthralgia after CHIKV outbreak (age: 47.6 ± 18.5 years). Medical consultation (36.2%) and laboratory confirmation (1.4%) were low. The prevalence of persistent and severe arthralgia in the previous month was 30.3% and 27.5%, respectively. Severe arthralgia was associated with the female gender (odds ratio (OR): 2.44; 95% confidence level (CI): 1.08, 5.52) and pre-existing arthritis (OR: 3.78; 95% CI: 1.23, 11.62). Females showed a greater likelihood of persistent arthralgia (OR: 2.18; 95% CI: 1.09, 4.39).
Conclusion: Self-perceived arthralgia was an important feature 8–12 months post-CHIKV infection and has implications for the recognition and management of arthritis/rheumatic conditions.