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J Rheumatol. 2002 Sep;29(9):1989-99.

Disease course and outcome of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in a multicenter cohort.

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1
Department of Paediatrics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the disease course and outcome in a multicenter cohort of patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).

METHODS:

All patients with JRA seen at 3 pediatric rheumatology centers were identified from databases and/or clinic records. Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of JRA (1977 American College of Rheumatology criteria), a followup period of at least 5 years since onset, and a minimum age of 8 years. Patients were examined and completed a Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ). Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed to estimate rates of remission, relapse, and arthroplasty. Remission was defined as absence of active arthritis while off treatment for at least 2 years. Outcome measures were active disease duration, CHAQ scores, pain determined by visual analog scales, physician's global assessments, and Steinbrocker functional classifications. Years of education and employment status were ascertained.

RESULTS:

We studied 392 patients of 652 (60%) who met the selection criteria. The probabilities of remission at 10 years after onset were 37, 47, 23, and 6% for patients with systemic, pauciarticular, RF- polyarticular, and RF+ polyarticular JRA, respectively. The probability of relapse varied from 30 to 100% at 15 years. The probability of arthroplasty varied from 13 to 57% after 15 years of active disease. We found 2.5% of patients assessed were in Steinbrocker Classes III or IV and 6% were in the highest CHAQ score (> 1.5) group. Compared with national statistics, fewer female patients received post-secondary education and unemployment rates for patients 20 to 24 years of age were higher.

CONCLUSION:

Our results indicate that JRA is a disease that often extends into adulthood. Compared to previous decades, functional outcome has improved; however, the estimated rate of arthroplasty remains very high. Patients with JRA may have difficulty entering the workforce.

PMID:
12233897
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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