Although patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis had similar disease burdens at initial presentation, patients with osteoarthritis had a higher disease burden at 6 months.
Patients with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) exhibited similar disease burden at initial presentation, but patients with OA exhibited higher disease burden 6 months later, according to results of a retrospective cohort study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
The investigators sought to evaluate disease burden in OA vs RA according to Multidimensional Health Assessment Questionnaire (MDHAQ) scores and Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data (RAPID3) at initial and 6-month follow-up visits. Patients seen at the rheumatology center of Rush University in Chicago, Illinois, complete the MDHAQ at all visits, which is saved in their electronic health record. MDHAQ scores of 0 to 10 for physical function, pain, and patient global assessment, along with RAPID3 scores of 0 to 30, were compiled in this study.
Patients with OA or RA were classified as either self-referred or physician referred. Individuals with RA were either naive to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or were prior users. Comparisons were performed using t-tests and analysis of variance, which were adjusted for age, ethnicity, duration of disease, body mass index, and education.
Compared with patients with RA, those with OA were older, had a higher body mass index, and had a longer duration of disease. At the initial patient visit, the mean RAPID3 score did not differ significantly between patients with OA and DMARD-naive patients with RA, regardless of whether they were self-referred or physician referred (range, 14.8 to 16.4; P =.38).The mean RAPID3 score also did not differ significantly among patients with OA vs those with DMARD-naive RA vs patients with RA who had previously used DMARDs (16.0 vs 15.5 vs 15.6, respectively; P =.49). After 6 months, however, RAPID3 scores improved to 14.3, 9.9 and 12.5, respectively — substantially more among patients with RA vs those with OA.
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