Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studies Show Dramatic Decline In Rheumatoid Vasculitis In US Veterans

Date:
August 27, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Researchers examined records of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients from the national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system to determine the prevalence of rheumatoid vasculitis (RV) in this population. The study found a downward trend in the number of RA patients who go on to develop RV, with a significant drop of 53% among inpatients and 31% among outpatients between 2000 and 2001.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health examined records of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients from the national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system to determine the prevalence of rheumatoid vasculitis (RV) in this population. The study found a downward trend in the number of RA patients who go on to develop RV, with a significant drop of 53% among inpatients and 31% among outpatients between 2000 and 2001.

Full details of the study are published in the September issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

Rheumatoid Vasculitis is a complication of severe RA, an autoimmune disease that causes painful inflammation of the joints. Approximately 2%-5% of RA patients develop RV, an extraarticular (occurring outside the joint) manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis, affecting small and medium-size arteries in the body. RV can involve many body organs including the skin, eyes, heart, lungs, nerves to the hands and feet, as well as blood vessels in the fingers and toes.

In this cross-sectional study, Christie Bartels, M.D., and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine analyzed data on patients admitted to VHA hospitals over a 22-year period (1985-2006) or seen in outpatient settings over a 10-year period (1997-2006). More than 37,000 patient records where a diagnosis of RA was noted qualified for the study and 92% of those being men with a mean age of 64.9 years. To determine a RV diagnosis, researchers included those patients who had one of the following: arteritis, mononeuritis multiplex (damage to multiple individual nerve fibers), peripheral neuropathy due to connective tissue disease, gangrene, or chronic ulcers.

A past study of data from California hospitals also showed hospitalizations for RV declined between 1980 and 2001. But analysis of only inpatient data raises questions of whether RV cases escaped detection due to changing outpatient management of the disease. "Our study is the first to examine a national U.S. population for RV prevalence among both inpatients and outpatients," stated Dr. Bartels. "We found the frequency of RV fell from 41 to 28 cases per 1,000 RA outpatients and from 32 to only 15 cases per 1000 RA inpatients."

Researchers believe the decline in RV reported in the current study may be attributed to: a decrease in the number of RV incidences, a disease cure in some patients, patients discontinuing VHA services or dying, or error. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis improved throughout the 1990s and researchers speculate that the use of biologic agents and more aggressive combinations of anti-rheumatic drugs targeting severe RA may have diminished extraarticular disease, such as RV.

Additionally the authors noted that the VHA made system-wide efforts to decrease tobacco use among patients that may have impacted the rates of rheumatoid vasculitis prevalence. "Future studies should examine trends in smoking and pharmacotherapy in relation to RV, and ongoing monitoring is merited," concluded the authors.

This study included a greater number of men who were older than average RA patients and whose use of tobacco was likely higher than most RA cohorts. These demographics may limit the ability to apply the results to the general RA population. "Previous reports have described increased rates of extraarticular manifestations among men, smokers, and persons who were older at the time of RA onset, so perhaps the characteristics of our study sample facilitated detection of changes among the most at-risk population," Dr. Bartels surmised. "As RA treatment evolves, it will be important to continue following trends in rheumatoid vasculitis prevalence using samples with a sex ratio that more closely reflects the general population," she added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christie Bartels, Carolyn Bell, Ann Rosenthal, Kazuhiko Shinki, and Alan Bridges. Decline in Rheumatoid Vasculitis Prevalence Among US Veterans. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2009; DOI: 10.1002/art.24775

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Studies Show Dramatic Decline In Rheumatoid Vasculitis In US Veterans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827072435.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, August 27). Studies Show Dramatic Decline In Rheumatoid Vasculitis In US Veterans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827072435.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Studies Show Dramatic Decline In Rheumatoid Vasculitis In US Veterans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827072435.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins