Elderly-Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis Ups Bone Erosion Risk

Even two years of clinical remission does not protect against bone erosions

THURSDAY, July 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly-onset rheumatoid arthritis (EORA) is a risk factor for bone erosions, even with clinical disease remission, according to a study published in the June issue of the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Koichi Murata, from the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues used data from the Kyoto University Rheumatoid Arthritis Management Alliance from 2011 to 2015 (2,182 patients with RA). Clinical and laboratory data were compared at baseline, one year, and two years after onset between those with young-onset RA (<60 years old; 117 patients) and EORA (≥60 years old; 122 patients).

The researchers found that disease activity was higher in EORA versus young-onset RA at baseline. However, at one or two years, disease activity was similar between EORA and young-onset RA. More patients with EORA had bone erosions at baseline and at two years. Of EORA patients who were positive for the anticitrullinated protein autoantibody but erosion-free at baseline, more than 25 percent had bone erosions at one or two years, even with clinical remission, compared with erosions in approximately 10 percent of patients with young-onset RA.

"Optimal treatment strategies preventing radiological damage should be considered for EORA," the authors write.

Several authors reported ties to the pharmaceutical industry, which partially funded the study.

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