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06-04-2018 | Rheumatoid arthritis | News

News in brief

Unmet clinical needs persist in RA

medwireNews: Results of a European study indicate that a substantial proportion of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have inadequately controlled disease.

Peter Taylor (University of Oxford, UK) and co-researchers report in RMD Open that over a quarter (27%) of 1147 RA patients from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK had inadequate disease control – defined as a Disease Activity Score at 28 joints (DAS28) of more than 3.2 points – in 2014.

Insufficient disease control was associated with negative outcomes for patients; compared with the 839 patients with adequately controlled disease, the 308 with inadequately controlled disease had significantly worse pain scores (4.6 vs 2.3 on a 10-point scale), as well as higher rates of depression (16 vs 5%) and flares (67 vs 41%).

Despite these adverse outcomes, the team found that over half of the patients with poor disease control reported being satisfied with their treatment success, suggesting that patients “may be accepting suboptimal outcomes.”

Taylor and colleagues conclude that their study “documents the continued existence of unmet needs in patients with RA, despite the advances in treatments and strategies,” and underscores “the need to assess patients’ physical and mental well-being alongside clinical measures of disease activity.”

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2018 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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