Early recognition and treatment of pediatric rheumatic diseases is associated with improved outcome. We documented access to pediatric rheumatology subspecialty care for children in British Columbia (BC), Canada, referred to the pediatric rheumatology clinic at BC Children's Hospital, Vancouver.
An audit of new patients attending the outpatient clinic from May 2006 to February 2007 was conducted. Parents completed a questionnaire through a guided interview at the initial clinic assessment. Referral dates were obtained from the referral letters. Patients were classified as having rheumatic disease, nonrheumatic disease, or a pain syndrome based on final diagnosis by a pediatric rheumatologist.
Data were collected from 124 of 203 eligible new patients. Before pediatric rheumatology assessment, a median of 3 healthcare providers were seen (range 1-11) for a median of 5 visits (range 1-39). Overall, the median time interval from symptom onset to pediatric rheumatology assessment was 268 days (range 13-4989), and the median time interval from symptom onset to referral to pediatric rheumatology was 179 days (range 3-4970). Among patients ultimately diagnosed with rheumatic diseases (n = 53), there was a median of 119 days (range 3-4970) from symptom onset to referral, and 169 days (range 31-4989) from onset to pediatric rheumatology assessment.
Children and adolescents with rheumatic complaints see multiple care providers for multiple visits before referral to pediatric rheumatology, and there is often a long interval between symptom onset and this referral.
To examine the validity of case definitions for systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases [SARD; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis (SSc), myositis, Sjögren's syndrome, vasculitis, and polymyalgia rheumatica] based on administrative data, compared to rheumatology records.
A list of rheumatic disease diagnoses was generated from population-based administrative billing and hospitalization databases. Subjects who had been seen by an arthritis center rheumatologist were identified, and the medical records reviewed.
We found that 844 Nova Scotia residents had a diagnosis of one of the rheumatic diseases of interest, based on administrative data, and had had = 1 rheumatology assessment at a provincial arthritis center. Charts were available on 824 subjects, some of whom had been identified in the administrative database with > 1 diagnosis. Thus a total of 1136 diagnoses were available for verification against clinical records. Of the 824 subjects, 680 (83%) had their administrative database diagnoses confirmed on chart review. The majority of subjects who were "false-positive" for a given rheumatic disease on administrative data had a true diagnosis of a similar rheumatic disease. Most sensitivity estimates for specific administrative data-based case definitions were > 90%, although for SSc, the sensitivity was 80.5%. The specificity estimates were also > 90%, except for SLE, where the specificity was 72.5%.
Although health administrative data may be a valid resource, there are potential problems regarding the specificity and sensitivity of case definitions, which should be kept in mind for future studies.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the risk of transitional cell carcinoma among subjects with an intake of acetaminophen, aspirin, some other drugs and with some intercurrent diseases. The source person-time ('study base') included subjects living in Stockholm in 1985-1987. The study included 325 subjects with a transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary tract and 393 controls randomly selected from the source person-time. Data were obtained by a postal questionnaire supplemented by a telephone interview. A relative risk (with a 95% confidence interval) of 1.6 (1.1-2.3) was obtained after an intake of acetaminophen, adjusted for age, aspirin, gender and smoking. Conversely, a 30% decrease in risk was obtained after an intake of aspirin. No details in the exposure substantiated the finding for acetaminophen. The inherent validity problems of observational studies, and the weak evidence in this and previous studies of the association between acetaminophen and transitional cell carcinoma, makes available epidemiological evidence insufficient to regulate the use of this commonly ingested analgesic. Increased risks were, in addition, found for tetracyclines, nitrofurantoin and a history of allergic asthma and a decreased risk found for rheumatic symptoms. The findings stress the nonepidemiological data concerning the potential carcinogenicity of acetaminophen and may be a foundation for future research of some other drugs and diseases.
Pulse therapy with methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol, Upjohn), 1000 mg daily over three successive days, was administered to patients in two randomized groups of 14 patients in each (23 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, 5 with rheumatoid arthritis). In one of the groups the drug was taken per os, the other received it intravenously. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of clinical effectiveness and incidence of side effects However, the time-related course of such indices as erythrocyte sedimentation rate, the level of leukocytes, of total protein, urea, the blood antioxidant potential, permeability of erythrocytic membranes and capillary and tissue barrier proteinuria as well as the content of immune complexes in the arterial and venous blood was more striking with per os intake. Of the 14 patients, 11 demonstrated short-continued asymptomatic 35% rise in the activity of alaninaminotransferase.