WEDNESDAY, March 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — After six months, osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with higher mean disease burden than rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online March 20 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Jacquelin R. Chua, M.D., from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues examined disease burden in OA according to multidimensional health assessment questionnaire/routine assessment of patient index data (MDHAQ/RAPID3) at initial and six-month follow-up visits compared to RA as a high disease burden benchmark.

The researchers found that the mean RAPID3 did not differ significantly in OA patients versus disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD)-naive RA patients at the initial visit (range, 14.8 to 16.4; P = 0.38) or in all OA patients versus DMARD-naive RA patients versus prior-DMARD RA patients (16.0, 15.5, and 15.6, respectively; P = 0.49). Substantially more improvement was seen in RAPID3 in RA patients than in OA patients after six months. For most self-report measures and in adjusted analyses, the results were similar.

“This new information may have important implications for public health and control of health care costs,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our results appear to indicate an urgent need for improved treatments and strategies for prevention of osteoarthritis.”

One author holds a copyright and trademark on MDHAQ and RAPID3 for which they receive royalties and license fees.

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