medwireNews: Osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with a similar disease burden to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at the time of first presentation, despite traditionally being perceived as a milder condition, researchers report.
The investigators from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, USA, demonstrated that routine assessment patient index data 3 (RAPID3) scores – a measure of function, pain, and patient global status on a scale of 0 to 30 – at the time of presentation were comparable among 149 patients with OA, 153 RA patients with prior DMARD treatment, and 50 DMARD-naïve RA patients, at 16.0, 15.5, and 15.6 points, respectively.
Disease burden across the three groups was similar “regardless of prior therapy or whether the patient was physician-referred or self-referred,” say Theodore Pincus and co-researchers.
However, they report in Arthritis & Rheumatology that these scores improved “substantially more in RA than OA” over a median 5.0–5.7 months of treatment, with a reduction of 1.7 points in the OA group versus 4.3 and 5.7 points in RA patients with and without prior DMARD treatment, respectively, which likely reflects superior therapy for RA.
“Our results appear to indicate an urgent need for improved treatments and strategies for prevention of osteoarthritis,” said Pincus in a press release.
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