Prevalence of undiagnosed rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases and its association with health-related quality of life and with physical function
Gonçalves NP, Azeredo S, Sepriano A, Henriques A, Pires T, Branco J, Canhão H, Rodrigues A
Aim: To estimate the disease specific prevalence of undiagnosed rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) in Portugal and determine if people with undiagnosed RMDs have worse quality of life, physical function and higher health resources consumption, than people without RMDs.
Methods: A subgroup analysis of EpiReumaPt was made that included all participants≥18 years evaluated by a rheumatologist. Participants were stratified into three groups: undiagnosed RMDs; previously diagnosed RMDs; non-RMDs. A descriptive analysis of the three groups was performed. To estimate the prevalence of undiagnosed RMDs, weighted proportion were computed considering the sample design. The three groups were compared (Undiagnosed RMDs vs non-RMDs; Previously diagnosed RMDs vs non-RMDs) for health related quality of life (HRQoL) (EQ5D), physical function (HAQ), mental health (HADS) and health resources consumption. The effect of being undiagnosed for these outcomes was assessed in multivariable models adjusted for age, gender, geographical region and years of education (reference: non-RMD).
Results: A total of 3877 participants were included. The prevalence of undiagnosed RMDs was 29%. Compared to participants without RMDs, undiagnosed participants had lower HRQoL (EQ-5D: β (95% CI)=-0.07 (-0.103,-0.043)) and physical function (HAQ: β (95% CI)=0.10 (0.05, 0.15)), more anxiety (OR (95% CI)=2.3 (1.4, 3.7)) and depression symptoms (OR (95% CI)=1.4 (0.8, 2.4)). Undiagnosed RMDs participants were more likely to visit an orthopedist (OR (95% CI)=2.0 (1.1, 3.5)) and had a higher number of orthopedic appointments (IRR (95% CI)=2.5 (1.3, 4.9)) than participants without RMDs.
Conclusion: Patients with undiagnosed RMDs are frequent in Portugal, have worse HRQoL, physical function and mental health than people without RMDs. Undiagnosed patients are nonetheless consumers of health resources and tend to seek help from specialties other than rheumatology. Increasing the awareness of RMDs might promote their early identification and treatment leading to both personal and societal benefits.Read online
FRAX 10-year fracture risk in rheumatoid arthritis assessed with and without bone mineral density – are we treating our patients under bDMARDs?
Rato MS, Pinheiro FO, Garcia S, Fernandes B, Bernardo A, Gaio R, Costa L, Bernardes M
Objective: This study aimed to identify the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients under biological therapy who have FRAX® scores classified as high fracture risk and to evaluate if they are receiving treatment for osteoporosis (OP). The authors also investigated the intra-individual agreement between FRAX® fracture risk calculated with and without bone mineral density (BMD).
Methods: A single-center retrospective cohort study was performed in a total of 303 patients with RA under biologics. Demographic and clinical data were collected using Rheumatic Diseases Portuguese Register (Reuma.pt), complemented with data from the hospital clinical records. FRAX scores with and without BMD were calculated. The Kendall's Tau coefficient was used to assess the agreement between FRAX risk categories. Correlations were evaluated by the Spearman test. Comparisons of distributions from independent variables used the Mann-Whitney test.
Results: When FRAX® score was calculated without BMD (n=303), 25% patients were categorized as high fracture risk. Among them, only 54% were receiving OP treatment. FRAX® assessment with BMD (n=231) identified 33% patients with high fracture risk, 52% in treatment for OP. Thirty patients (21%) previously classified as low fracture risk using FRAX® without BMD were recategorized as high risk (𝜏=0.570, p<0.001). Despite that, there was a strong correlation between fracture risks assessed with and without BMD.
Conclusion: The authors highlight the high number of patients, around 50%, who are not receiving treatment according to FRAX categorization. There is a discordance in fracture risk categorization, as one-fifth of low-risk patients according to FRAX without BMD were reclassified as high-risk after FRAX recalculation with BMD data, raising the need to request a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry not only for patients classified as having an intermediate risk of fracture, but also for low-risk patients.
Safety of intra-articular glucocorticoid injections – state of the art
Duarte-Monteiro A, Dourado E, Fonseca J, Saraiva F
Intra-articular glucocorticoid injection (IAGCI) is frequently used to treat joint pain and inflammation. While its efficacy has been extensively studied, there are not as many detailed descriptions regarding safety. This review aimed to describe the immediate-, short- and long-term complications of IAGCI and their predictors.
Most studies mainly report mild and self-limited adverse events with an incidence similar to placebo. However, the reported incidences vary significantly and are mostly inferred from retrospective data. Septic arthritis is the most feared adverse event due to its association with high mortality. Other short-term local complications include injection site pain, post-injection flare, skin hypopigmentation and atrophy, and tendon rupture. Systemic side effects are common, including vasovagal reactions, flushing, increased appetite and mood changes, hyperglycemia in diabetic patients, and bleeding in high-risk patients.
Few predictors of complications have been systematically evaluated. However, male gender, advanced age, and pre-existing joint disease have been suggested in retrospective studies to correlate with infection risk.
Overall, in most studies, only severe adverse event rates are reported, with no systematic prospective evaluations of safety and no report of predictors of complications. Therefore, since IAGCI is a routinely used treatment, more detailed knowledge of adverse events and complications is warranted.