A comparison of rural and urban rheumatoid arthritis populations

Basu, N. and Steven, M. (2009) A comparison of rural and urban rheumatoid arthritis populations. Scottish Medical Journal, 54(1), pp. 7-9. (doi: 10.1258/rsmsmj.54.1.7) (PMID:19291927)

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Introduction: There is evidence to suggest that remote populations have poorer clinical outcomes in certain disease processes such as asthma and cancer. This study looks to identify any disparities in the management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the context of rurality. Methods: A retrospective observational study was performed on all 1314 patients with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis who have been under the care of the principal rheumatologist at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, between the years 1994 and 2004 inclusive. Rurality was defined according to the Scottish Household Survey. Populations were assessed in terms of age; sex; duration of diagnosis; number of years of Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARD) therapy, prednisolone use and the number of musculoskeletal practical interventions undertaken (eg joint aspiration or replacement). Results: Two thirds of patients were considered rural dwellers. No significant difference was established between the populations with regards to management. DMARD therapy had been prescribed in 77% of rural patients vs 70% of their city counterparts for a mean 5.4 and 4.0 years respectively. The proportion of patients exposed to prednisolone therapy and who underwent musculoskeletal procedures were equivalent. Conclusions: Rural dwellers, with rheumatoid arthritis in the Highlands of Scotland, do not appear to be disadvantaged in regards to their disease management in comparison to the urban population.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Basu, Professor Neil
Authors: Basu, N., and Steven, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Scottish Medical Journal
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):2045-6441

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