Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Over 1/3 of refractory lupus patients remain stable at long term follow-up after receiving B-cell depletion therapy

Findings reported today at EULAR 2007, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) in Barcelona, Spain, reveal a treatment disparity between female and male patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Data from a study at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, show that women receive anti-TNFs (very effective but expensive modern medications against this disease) at a higher perceived level of disease activity and when they are reporting more severe pain than their male counterparts.

Whilst some disease activity measurements were found to be higher for women than men, and self-reported disease activity by the patients themselves echoed this, the physicians’ global assessments showed little difference between the level of disease in the men and women of the study group.

Lead researcher Dr Ronald van Vollenhoven comments, “Women are known to have consistently worse long-term outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis than men. To date, it has been unclear if this is due to factors intrinsic to the disease or because of gender-related prescribing. Our study does not show a gender-bias as such, but does indicate that physicians to some extent ‘discount’ the subjective measures of disease activity, which we found to be higher in women, and let their decisions be driven almost solely by objective markers of the disease. As a result, women are receiving anti-TNFs at a higher level of disease symptoms than men. Because the goal of any treatment for RA must be to relieve the patients suffering, it is not clear that this approach is the right one.”

The study analysed baseline variables for the patients on RA who were started on anti-TNF treatment in the STURE Registry (the Stockholm TNF-alpha follow-up registry). When anti-TNFs were first prescribed to the 644 study participants, the level of their RA severity was logged, as measured according to Disease Activity Scale 28 (DAS28) which takes into account the severity of disease across the 28 joints most commonly affected by RA.

Each participant’s Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), which measures the level of inflammation, was also noted along with their Swollen Joint Count (SJC) and Tender Joint Count (TJC). Furthermore, both patients and their physicians completed a global assessment of disease activity, pain and physical activity (5 point scale questionnaire).

DAS28 scores at initiation of anti-TNF treatment were found to be significantly higher for women than for men (DAS28 was 5.53 for women, 5.04 for men, p=0.0006) and women had higher Tender Joint Counts (9.62 compared to 8.41 for males, p=0.066). The women in the study also had significantly higher ESR scores, although the authors suggest that this could be explained in part by the female hormone oestrogen, which affects tends to raise the ESR.

With regard to the more subjective self-reporting on the disease, through the patient-completed global health ratings, women also reported significantly worse global health (as measured by VAS and HAQ-disability index). However, the physician-completed global health ratings were equivalent for men and women.

Dr Ronald van Vollenhoven comments, “This study shows the importance of taking into account both objective and subjective measurement scores in treatment decisions. It is our hope that these data will help redress this imbalance and ensure equal prescribing and disease management for all.”

Rory Berrie | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>