Poorer Kids with RA Less Adherent to Therapy

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The results of a recent study show that patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in lower-income families are less likely to stay on their therapies than their wealthier counterparts. The report appeared in the December 15, 2005, issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, researchers used electronic monitoring devices to study the patterns of adherence to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in 48 newly diagnosed patients with juvenile RA. Adherence was not affected by patient age, sex, parental marital status or education, or complexity of patients' medication regimen.

Over 28 consecutive days, 25 patients were >80% adherent, while 23 were not.The researchers noted that active joint count and socioeconomic status were the only significant predictors. This finding disproves previous theories of childhood adherence as being symptom-driven, and that special attention needs to be paid to low-income families.