RA Becoming Less Severe

NOVEMBER 01, 2005

Earlier and more intense treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be a key factor in the discovery that instances of the disease today are milder than they have been in the past. Researchers have noticed a trend toward patients presenting with RA earlier in the disease, seeking treatment sooner, and receiving more thorough treatment today than in the previous 2 decades. As a result, the number of patients whose RA goes on to extreme cases has dropped sharply.

"Patients with early RA presenting in recent years have less severe disease activity at presentation, as well as a more favorable course of their disease, compared with patients in earlier years," lead researcher Paco M.J. Welsing, MD, said.

Investigators in the Netherlands studied a total of 525 newly diagnosed RA patients over 20 years, from 1985 to 2005. The report, published in the September 2005 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, stated that the duration of symptoms for patients had decreased from an average of 309 days in 1985 to 212 days in 2005. Initial improvement of symptoms with treatment also was greater in more recently diagnosed patients. The researchers speculate that this finding could be the result of more aggressive treatment, as well as more patients being referred to a rheumatologist after initial diagnosis, a strategy not normally followed in the past.


Become A RESPIMAT T.O.P. Performer 

Get to know RESPIMAT, the slow-moving mist inhaler from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Watch the RESPIMAT video and test your knowledge with a short multiple-choice quiz. When you get all the answers right, you’ll receive a certificate naming you a RESPIMAT T.O.P. Performer. Why not check it out today?

Pharmacy Times Strategic Alliance

Pharmacist Education
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs

Next-Generation Pharmacist® Awards

3rd Annual Convenient Healthcare and Pharmacy Collaborative Conference

Personalize the information you receive by selecting targeted content and special offers.