They are at greater risk for GI problems and gastrointestinal-related death than people without the disease, a Mayo Clinic study shows. Researchers say their findings point out the need for new ways to prevent and treat lower GI disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients; the incidence of lower gastrointestinal complications is rising even as upper GI problems decrease significantly among rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Smoking, the use of steroids known as glucocorticoids, prior upper GI disease and abdominal surgery were associated with lower GI problems in rheumatoid arthritis patients, the study found. The research was published online this week in The Journal of Rheumatology.
Rheumatologists have long recognized that rheumatoid arthritis patients are at higher risk for upper GI problems such as stomach ulcers and bleeding. The study suggests increased awareness of that and likely, modern treatment strategies that emphasize the need to prevent ulcers and bleeding and control rheumatoid arthritis without relying as much on nonsteroidal drugs and corticosteroids have reduced upper GI complications, says co-author Eric Matteson, M.D., Chair of the Department of Rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
"What we are also seeing for the first time in a systematic way is that patients with rheumatoid arthritis also are at risk for problems of bleeding and ulcers in the lower gut, especially the colon," Dr. Matteson says.
Lung disease, heart problems, osteoporosis and carpal tunnel syndrome are among other potential complications for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an often debilitating disorder in which the immune system attacks tissues, inflaming joints. To study the incidence of GI problems in rheumatoid arthritis patients, Mayo researchers identified 813 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 813 without it, using data from 1980-2008 in the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a National Institutes of Health-supported effort in which Mayo and other Olmsted County, Minn., health care providers pool medical records.
The incidence of upper GI problems in rheumatoid arthritis patients declined over the years but was still higher in that group: 2.9 for every 100 person years compared with 1.7 in non-rheumatoid arthritis patients. The rate of lower GI problems in rheumatoid arthritis patients was 2.1, compared with 1.4 in others, the study found. Of the arthritis patients studied, 229 died. GI problems were significantly associated with their deaths, including bleeds, perforations and obstructions.
"Our findings emphasize that physicians and patients must be vigilant for these complications, which can occur without causing abdominal pain," Dr. Matteson says. "Especially stopping smoking and reducing the use of corticosteroids would appear to be important in reducing the risk of major lower GI complications."
The study co-authors are biostatistician Cynthia Crowson; gastroenterologist Nicholas Talley, M.D., Ph.D.; and Elena Myasoedova, M.D., Ph.D., all of Mayo Clinic.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about and www.mayoclinic.org/news
Sharon Theimer | EurekAlert!
Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy