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      Rheumatoid arthritis in Jordan: a cross sectional study of disease severity and associated comorbidities

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          Treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to target is advocated using disease activity measures. The impact of RA on the general health status of affected patients in Jordan is not well described. This study reported the severity of RA in Jordan and its association with consequent disabilities and comorbidities. A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted at King Abdullah University Hospital in the north of Jordan. All patients who were diagnosed with RA were included. Patients’ demographics, comorbidities, disease activity score (DAS 28), and clinical disease activity index (CDAI) were collected. Both DAS 28 and CDAI were utilized to categorize RA disease activity. A total of 465 patients with RA were included: 82% were females; mean age ± standard deviation (SD) was 47.62±14.6 years; and mean disease duration ± SD was 6±4.45 years. The mean ± SD for the DAS 28 and CDAI was 5.1±1.5 and 23±14.2, respectively. According to the DAS 28, 51% of the patients were in the high disease activity category and only 5% were in remission. On the other hand, according to the CDAI, 44% were in the high disease activity category and only 1% were in remission. In Jordan, patients with RA have a high severe disease rate and a low remission rate. The disease is often progressive and associated with comorbidities that need to be managed.

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          Most cited references 14

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          The American Rheumatism Association 1987 revised criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis.

          The revised criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were formulated from a computerized analysis of 262 contemporary, consecutively studied patients with RA and 262 control subjects with rheumatic diseases other than RA (non-RA). The new criteria are as follows: 1) morning stiffness in and around joints lasting at least 1 hour before maximal improvement; 2) soft tissue swelling (arthritis) of 3 or more joint areas observed by a physician; 3) swelling (arthritis) of the proximal interphalangeal, metacarpophalangeal, or wrist joints; 4) symmetric swelling (arthritis); 5) rheumatoid nodules; 6) the presence of rheumatoid factor; and 7) radiographic erosions and/or periarticular osteopenia in hand and/or wrist joints. Criteria 1 through 4 must have been present for at least 6 weeks. Rheumatoid arthritis is defined by the presence of 4 or more criteria, and no further qualifications (classic, definite, or probable) or list of exclusions are required. In addition, a "classification tree" schema is presented which performs equally as well as the traditional (4 of 7) format. The new criteria demonstrated 91-94% sensitivity and 89% specificity for RA when compared with non-RA rheumatic disease control subjects.
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            Sex: a major predictor of remission in early rheumatoid arthritis?

             K Forslind,  M Ahlmén,   (2006)
            The treatment goal of early rheumatoid arthritis is remission. This study reports remission rates in clinical practice using a cohort of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis. 698 patients with early rheumatoid arthritis were included. Mean age at inclusion was 58 years and mean disease duration was 6.4 months; 64% of the patients were women, 56% were positive for antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptide and 60% were positive for rheumatoid factor. Remission was defined as a disease activity score <2.6, with or without ongoing treatment with drugs for rheumatoid arthritis. After 2 years, 261 of 689 patients were in remission (37.9%), and after 5 years, the remission rate was 38.5%. However, only 26.1% were in remission at both these time points. Multiple logistic regression analyses found sex to be a main predictor for remission. Thus, significantly fewer women were in remission after 2 years (32.1% v 48%, p = 0.001) after 5 years (30.8% v 52.4%, p = 0.001) and at both these time points (19.1% v 39.3%, p = 0.001). Although disease activity was not with certainty more pronounced in women at onset of disease, the disease course became markedly worse in women. The disparity in remission frequency between women and men could not be explained by differences in disease duration, age or treatment with disease modifying antirheumatic drugs or glucocorticoids. Early remission of rheumatoid arthritis by 28-joint Disease Activity Score<2.6 was as frequent or more frequent in this study than in most previous reports. Importantly, women had more severe disease with a considerably lower remission rate than men, although the disease activity before treatment seemed similar.
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              Prevalence and associations of hypertension and its control in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

              Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) associates with excessive cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Hypertension (HT) contributes significantly to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Little is known about the factors that influence blood pressure (BP) in patients with RA. In this study, we assessed the prevalence of HT in a secondary care cohort of RA patients, and aimed to identify factors associated with its presence and inadequate control. A total of 400 consecutive RA patients were studied. HT was defined as systolic BP >/=140 mmHg and/or diastolic BP >/=90 mmHg or current use of antihypertensive drugs. The association of HT with several demographic and RA-related factors, comorbidities and drugs was evaluated using logistic regression. HT was present in 282 (70.5%) patients. Of those, 171 (60.6%) received anti-hypertensive therapy, but 111 (39.4%) remained undiagnosed. Of those treated, only 37/171 (21.8%) were optimally controlled. Multivariable logistic regression revealed age (OR = 1.054, CI: 1.02 to 1.07, P = 0.001), body mass index [BMI (OR = 1.06, CI: 1.003-1.121, P = 0.038)] and prednisolone use (OR = 2.39, CI: 1.02-5.6, P = 0.045) to be independently associated with the presence of HT. BMI (OR = 1.11, CI: 1.02-1.21, P = 0.002) and the presence of CVD (OR = 4.01, CI: 1.27-12.69, P = 0.018) associated with uncontrolled HT. HT is highly prevalent in RA, under-diagnosed particularly in the young, and under-treated particularly in old RA patients with CVD. RA patients receiving steroids should be specifically targeted for screening and treatment; those with any cardiovascular comorbidity may require particularly aggressive monitoring and treatment strategies.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                19 May 2014
                : 10
                : 363-366
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Abdullah University Hospital, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
                [2 ]Department of Math and Statistics, College of Science, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Khaldoon M Alawneh, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Abdullah University Hospital, Jordan University of Science and Technology, PO Box 3030, Irbid, Jordan 22110, Email kma1234@ 123456msn.com
                © 2014 Alawneh et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research


                disabilities, das 28, cdai, middle east, remission, rheumatoid arthritis


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