To examine the frequency of 6 definitions for remission and 4 definitions for low disease activity (LDA) after starting a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in clinical practice, and to study whether predictors for achieving remission after 6 months are similar for these definitions.
Remission and LDA were calculated according to the 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28), the Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI), the Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI), the Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data (RAPID3), and both the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Boolean remission definitions 3 and 6 months after 4992 DMARD prescriptions for patients enrolled in the NOR-DMARD, a 5-center Norwegian register. Prediction of remission after 6 months was also studied.
After 3 months, remission rates varied between definitions from 8.7% to 22.5% and for LDA from 35.5% to 42.7%, and increased slightly until 6 months of followup. DAS28 and RAPID3 gave the highest and ACR/EULAR, SDAI, and CDAI the lowest proportions for remission. Positive predictors for remission after 6 months were similar across the definitions and included lower age, male sex, short disease duration, high level of education, current nonsmoking, nonerosive disease, treatment with a biological DMARD, being DMARD-naive, good physical function, little fatigue, and LDA.
In daily clinical practice, the DAS28 and RAPID3 definitions identified remission about twice as often as the ACR/EULAR Boolean, SDAI, and CDAI. Predictors of remission were similar across remission definitions. These findings provide additional evidence to follow treatment recommendations and treat RA early with a DMARD.
The aim of this study was to determine the impact of age on disease and remission in suspected early RA (ERA).
Data from the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort (CATCH) were examined at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Patients were divided into three groups based on age. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and regression models were performed to determine the impact of age on the 28-joint DAS (DAS28) and remission at 12 months.
A total of 1809 patients were initially assessed: 442 (24.4%) young (
This study of Norwegian rheumatologists' use of intraarticular steroid injections is based on a survey among members of the Norwegian Society for Rheumatology. 79% of the members responded, i.e. 108 rheumatologists. 69 reported having used intraarticular steroid injections in any joint during the last week, a total of 637 times. There have been no previous studies on this subject in Norway. The results show that Norwegian rheumatologists consider intraarticular steroid injections a very effective treatment. Only 9% reported that they had seen side effects over the last 12 months (a total of 51 side effects), of which post-injection pain and subcutaneous atrophy were the most common. There were no reports of septic arthritis. Almost all side effects were considered not serious.
TNF-alpha is a proinflammatory cytokine. It has a key function in the inflammatory cascade both systemically and locally in the inflamed joints of patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Treatment with two different "biological" drugs that block the proinflammatory capacity of TNF-alpha has recently been approved by the European drug authorities. This paper discusses experience gained in clinical trials and during the first year of treatment in Sweden using infliximab (anti-TNF-alpha monoclonal antibodies) and etanercept (recombinant TNF-alpha receptor fusion protein).
To determine the proportion of family physicians who diagnose rheumatoid arthritis (RA) correctly and to note how they report they would manage RA patients.
Mailed survey (self-administered questionnaire) requesting comments on vignettes.
Province of Quebec.
Computer-generated random sample of family physicians registered with the Quebec College of Family Physicians.
The proportion of family physicians who recognized RA and their reported management strategies.
Most respondents recognized the vignette presentation as a case of RA; 133/138 (96.4%) indicated RA as their provisional diagnosis, and all but 1 of the remaining respondents listed RA as a differential diagnosis. Of those who considered RA as a provisional or possible diagnosis, 107 (77.5% of all respondents) suggested referring the patient to a rheumatologist. Among the physicians who suggested referral, none indicated they would initiate disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
Almost all respondents considered RA as a provisional or differential diagnosis. Although many suggested referring the patient to a rheumatologist, almost a quarter did not. Initiating DMARDs before referring patients to rheumatologists appears to be rare. Since DMARDs given during the early stages of RA are known to decrease damage and dysfunction, ways to increase their use and optimize care pathways for new-onset inflammatory arthritis are urgently needed.
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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) suffer from co-morbidities that contribute to a shortened lifespan. Inflammation is important for the development of cardiovascular disease, but little is known on its relationship with other co-morbidities. We investigated the role of inflammation for the development of new comorbidities in early RA.
Since 1995, all patients with early RA in Northern Sweden are included in a prospective study on co-morbidities, with a total of 950 patients being included. At the time for this study, 726 had been ill for =5 years. Data on co-morbidities, clinical and laboratory disease activity and pharmacological therapy were collected from patient records and further validated using a questionnaire at RA onset (T0) and after 5 years (T5).
Of the patients, 53.2 % of the patients had one or more co-morbidity at onset, the commonest being: hypertension (27.3 %), obstructive pulmonary disease (13.9 %), diabetes (8.0 %), hypothyroidism (6.3 %) and malignancy (5.0 %). After 5 years, 41.0 % had developed at least one new co-morbidity, the most common being: hypertension (15.1 %), malignancy (7.6 %), stroke/transient ischemic accident (5.1 %), myocardial infarction (4.3 %) and osteoporosis (3.7 %). Age at disease onset, a raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) at inclusion, previous treatment with glucocorticoids (GC; p?
BACKGROUND: A high number of patients attending outpatient clinics of rheumatology are control cases. This study aimed at investigating the causes of such controls and how necessary they are. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 400 consecutive control patients selected from a local hospital were included. RESULTS: Inflammatory rheumatic diseases constituted 89% of the controls; rheumatoid arthritis was the diagnosis in 28% of cases. Routine control of patients with chronic disease was the main cause of control (41%). 15% of controls were regarded as partly or completely unnecessary; 95% of these were not repeated. INTERPRETATION: The reasons for controlling patients in rheumatology should be better defined. Regular evaluation could result in improved service to outpatients.
Corticosteroids form the basis of treatment in many inflammatory rheumatic diseases, both as systemic treatment and as treatment with local injections to reduce inflammation. In 1948 the first systemic treatment of a patient with a rheumatic disease was given to a woman with severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA); the impressive effect in this patient, and in another 15 patients, was reported by Dr Hench and co-workers in 1949. Systemic corticosteroid treatment was rapidly adopted and used not only for patients with RA but also for those with other rheumatic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus-as well as other disorders such as asthma-with a similar positive effect. In the following year, 1950, the Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of the structure and biological effects of the adrenal cortex hormones. This open trial was followed by several controlled trials conducted in the UK in which the effects of cortisone were compared with the effects of aspirin in patients with RA-interestingly, without any significant clinical benefit for the cortisone-treated patients. It was not until 1959, in yet another multi-centre trial in Britain, that a significant effect on functional capacity and general well-being was reported after 2 years of treatment with prednisolone, compared to aspirin, in patients with early RA. Despite the dramatic effects that were observed in the severely ill RA patients reported by Hench and co-workers it took 10 years to demonstrate that this effect was superior to the effect of aspirin when the two compounds were compared in controlled trials. Why was this so? One explanation could be in the study designs and the different outcome measures used in the various studies. Perhaps the results in the first comparative studies would have been different if individual response criteria had been used. This is discussed in this chapter.
To study whether the work disability (WD) rates in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have changed in Finland, where the treatment of RA has long been active but has intensified further since 2000.
All incident non-retired patients with RA of working age (18-64 years) in a nationwide register maintained by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2007 were identified. Patient cohorts were analysed in 2-year time periods (2000-1, 2002-3, 2004-5, 2006-7) and initial disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) were elucidated from the drug purchase register. The incidence of continuous WD in the RA cohorts as well as in the entire Finnish population up to 31 December 2008 was analysed.
A total of 7831 patients were identified (71% women, 61% rheumatoid factor-positive). Throughout the follow-up period the use of methotrexate and combination DMARDs as the initial treatment of early RA increased. During the first 2 years the incidence of RA-related continuous WD was 8.9%, 9.4%, 7.2% and 4.8% in the year cohorts, respectively (p