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Prevalence of chronic diseases at the onset of inflammatory arthritis.

Ursum, J., Korevaar, J.C., Twisk, J.W.R., Peters, M.J.L., Schellevis, F.G., Nurmohamed, M.T., Nielen, M.M.J. Prevalence of chronic diseases at the onset of inflammatory arthritis. Abstract. 36ste WEON 'Health and disease during the life course', 14-15 juni 2012, Rotterdam.
Background: To explore the prevalence of chronic diseases at the onset of inflammatory arthritis (IA) in the general practice and compare this to a group of control patients without IA. Methods: In this nested-case-control study, data were used from the Netherlands Information Network of eneral Practice (LINH). 3354 newly diagnosed IA-patients were selected. Each patient was matched on age, sex and general practice with two control patients without IA. Logistic regression analyses were used to compare the presence of 121 chronic diseases between cases and controls. Results: 74% of the IA patients had at least one chronic disease at the onset of IA compared to 60% of the controls. The highest prevalence rates in IA patients were found for cardiovascular (and musculoskeletal diseases (6-22%), followed by endocrine and respiratory diseases (6-8%). The largest differences between cases and controls were found for psoriasis (OR=3.4 (95%CI 2.7-4.3)), carpal tunnel syndrome (OR= 2.8 (95%CI 2.2-3.6)) and gout (OR=2.4 (95%CI 1.9-3.1)). Conclusion: Our data clearly demonstrates the close relationship between IA and several other chronic diseases. Patients with IA have more chronic diseases at the onset of IA then one might expect based on chance alone. Because of the high prevalence of chronic diseases in IA-patients, health professionals should be aware of this problem and take the presence of (other) chronic diseases into account in the treatment of IA patients.
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