The following article is part of conference coverage from the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Congress 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Rheumatology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in rheumatology. Check back for the latest news from EULAR 2018.

Patients with osteoarthritis (OA) have a higher short-term disease burden compared with patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to data from a study presented at the 2018 European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) meeting, held June 13-16 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The investigators suggest that more effective treatments for RA compared with OA explain these findings.

“OA commonly is regarded as less severe than [RA],” according to the study investigators. “However, limited data are available for direct comparisons, largely because different measures traditionally are used in RA.”


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Patients with OA (n=109) and RA (n=102) attending an academic rheumatology center completed the RAPID3 (Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data) on the MDHAQ (Multi-Dimensional Health Assessment Questionnaire) prior to their initial visit and at 6-month follow-up. The RAPID3/MDHAQ assessed physical function, pain, and patient global assessment. The investigators compared questionnaire scores of both groups to identify differences in disease burden at baseline and again at 6 months.

At the initial visit, there was no difference in RAPID3 scores between patients with OA or RA (15.9 vs 15.3, respectively; P =.47). In the individual variable analyses, both groups experienced improvements in function and pain from baseline to follow-up visit.  At the mean 5-month (actual) follow-up visit, decreases in RAPID3 scores were observed for OA (15.9 to 14.9; P =.06) and RA (15.3 to 11.1; P <.001); however, patients with RA demonstrated significantly greater reductions in disease burden.

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While the researchers attributed the greater reduction in disease burden seen in patients with RA to the availability of more effective treatments, “OA is a severe disease at first visit, suggesting a need for further research in OA toward improved treatment and outcomes,” the researchers wrote. “MDHAQ/RAPID3 is feasible and useful to assess and monitor clinical status in routine care of patients with different rheumatic diseases.”

For more coverage of EULAR 2018, click here. 

Reference

Chua J, Castrejon I, Block JA, Malfait AM, Pincus T. Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have similar disease burdens at first visit to an academic rheumatology setting, but OA patients have a higher burden at a 6-month follow-up visit.. Presented at: EULAR 2018 Annual European Congress of Rheumatology. Amsterdam, Netherlands; June 13-16, 2018. Abstract FRI0549.