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Rheumatol Int. 2011 May;31(5):657-65. doi: 10.1007/s00296-009-1358-9. Epub 2010 Jan 12.

Lag time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis in Venezuelan patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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1
Division of Rheumatology, Centro Nacional de Enfermedades Reumáticas, Hospital Universitario de Caracas, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela.

Abstract

A retrospective study in a hospital-based sample of Venezuelan patients with rheumatoid arthritis was made to estimate the lag time between onset of symptoms, diagnosis, and initiation of DMARD treatment. Medical records and in-person interview of patients to fill in a questionnaire collecting information on demographics and initiation of symptoms, first consultation with any physician, time of diagnosis, and initiation of first disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug were reviewed. We performed descriptive statistics and multivariable linear regression analysis. Mean lag time between symptom onset and diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was 40.5 months (range 1-424). Mean lag time between onset of symptoms and first consultation with a physician and between first consultation and diagnosis was 16.3 and 23.9 months, respectively. Mean lag time between onset of symptoms and initiation of DMARD treatment was 56.9 months. A definitive diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was done by a rheumatologist in 251 patients (92.3%). First consultation with an orthopedist or a primary care physician, first consultation in a public versus a private health center, and diagnosis before 2000 were associated with longer lag time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis. Venezuelan patients with rheumatoid arthritis had a marked delay from disease onset to diagnosis and initiation of first DMARD. First consultation with an orthopedist and consultation in a public versus a private health center were the variables with the strongest effect on lag time to diagnosis and to initiation of first DMARD.

PMID:
20066425
DOI:
10.1007/s00296-009-1358-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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