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Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019 Mar 20. doi: 10.1002/art.40869. [Epub ahead of print]

Disease burden in osteoarthritis (OA) is similar to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at initial rheumatology visit and significantly greater 6-months later.

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Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, United States.



To analyze disease burden in osteoarthritis (OA) according to MDHAQ/RAPID3 (multidimensional health assessment questionnaire/routine assessment of patient index data) at initial and 6-month follow-up visits, compared to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as a benchmark for high disease burden.


All patients with all diagnoses at Rush University rheumatology complete a paper MDHAQ at all visits, saved as a PDF in the electronic health record. MDHAQ 0-10 scores for physical function, pain, and patient global assessment, compiled into 0-30 RAPID3, and additional scales, of new OA and RA patients from 2011-2017 were compared at initial and 6-month follow-up visits. OA and RA patients, classified as self- or physician-referred, and RA "DMARD (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs)-naïve" or "prior-DMARD," were compared using t-tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA), adjusted for age, disease duration, body mass index (BMI), education, and ethnicity.


OA vs RA patients had higher age, BMI and disease duration. At initial visit, mean RAPID3 did not differ significantly in OA vs "DMARD-naïve" RA patients, whether self- or physician-referred [range 14.8-16.4 (p=0.38)], or in all OA vs "DMARD-naïve" RA vs "prior-DMARD" RA patients, 16.0, 15.5, 15.6, respectively (p=0.49). After 6-months, RAPID3 was improved to 14.3, 9.9, and 12.5, respectively, substantially more in RA than OA. Similar results were seen for most self-report measures, and in adjusted analyses.


MDHAQ/RAPID3 scores are similar in OA or RA at initial visit, but higher in OA 6 months later, reflecting superior RA treatments. The same MDHAQ/RAPID3 allows comparisons of disease burdens in different diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


osteoarthritis; patient reported outcomes; rheumatoid arthritis


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