The following article is a part of conference coverage from the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 2020 E-Congress, held online from June 3 to 6, 2020. The team at Rheumatology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in rheumatology. Check back for more from the EULAR 2020 E-Congress.
Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and without JIA but with at least 1 first-degree relative with JIA are more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition (ASC), according to study results presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 2020 E-Congress, held online from June 3 to 6, 2020.
According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.68% of children and young people may be diagnosed with ASC; there is evidence to suggest an association between ASC and certain parental autoimmune conditions. To investigate this, the researcher of the study analyzed the association between JIA and ASC by conducting a parent-led study in the form of an online survey. Parents of pediatric patients with JIA were asked to provide details of each member of their family; data included diagnosis status for both JIA and ASC and age of diagnosis.
A total of 247 responses were collected, representing 558 children and young people. Of 197 families, 202 patients were diagnosed with JIA. The eldest child with JIA from each family was selected (66 male and 131 female) and the rate of ASC was compared with the general population using Fisher’s exact tests.
Overall, children with JIA were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with ASC (odds ratio [OR], 6.107; 95% CI, 1.760-21.190; P =.0020). Children with FDR with JIA were also more likely to be diagnosed with ASC (OR, 7.009; 95% CI, 2.033-24.160; P =.0006).
“Individuals with JIA and family members of individuals with JIA are more likely to be diagnosed with ASC,” concluded the researchers. “The results remained unchanged in a sensitivity analysis in which children [with] JIA who had another sibling with JIA were excluded in order to [minimize] the risk that these results were affected by selecting the eldest child with JIA.”
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Beesley R. Association between juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Presented at: EULAR 2020 E-Congress; June 3-6, 2020. Abstract THU0507.