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01-04-2019 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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Risk factors for dyspnea identified in RA patients

medwireNews: Older age, female sex, and poor functional status are significant predictors of dyspnea on exertion among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), researchers report.

The study included 829 individuals with RA aged an average of 55.7 years with no clinically significant dyspnea on exertion at baseline, 13.5% of whom developed the condition over an average follow-up of 3.0 years.

In a multivariable model adjusting for sociodemographic, lifestyle, and clinical factors, each additional year of age was associated with a 3% increase in the risk for dyspnea on exertion, while women had a 2.2-fold greater risk than men. Each unit of worsening on the multidimensional health assessment questionnaire score was associated with a 2.4-fold elevated risk, and patients with mild dyspnea at baseline had a 2.6-fold increased risk relative to those with no dyspnea at baseline.

“Importantly, we found little evidence that DMARDs, including methotrexate, were associated with clinically significant dyspnea on exertion,” say Jeffrey Sparks, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and colleagues.

They conclude in ACR Open Rheumatology that “our findings emphasize the importance of assessing for dyspnea among patients with RA, particularly older women with functional limitations.”

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2019 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

ACR Open Rheumatology 2019; doi:10.1002/acr2.1001

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