Quality care in seniors with new-onset rheumatoid arthritis: a Canadian perspective.

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Arthritis care & research 01/2011; 63(1):53-7. DOI: 10.1002/acr.20304
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To estimate the percentage of seniors with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receiving disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) within the first year of diagnosis.
We assembled an incident RA cohort from Ontario physician billing data for 1997-2006. We used a standard algorithm to identify 24,942 seniors with RA based on ≥ 2 billing codes ≥ 60 days apart but within 5 years. Drug exposures were obtained from pharmacy claims data. We followed subjects for 1 year, assessing if they had been exposed (defined as ≥ 1 prescription) to 1 or more DMARDs within the first year of RA diagnosis. We assessed secular trends and differences for subjects who had received rheumatology care (defined as ≥ 1 rheumatology encounter) versus those who had not.
In total, only 39% of the 24,942 seniors with new-onset RA identified over 1997-2006 were exposed to DMARD therapy within 1 year of diagnosis. This increased from 30% in 1997 to 53% in 2006. Patients whose care involved a rheumatologist were more likely to be exposed to DMARDs than those who had no rheumatology care. In 2006, 67% of subjects receiving rheumatology care were exposed to DMARDs versus 21% of those with no rheumatology care.
Improvements in RA care have occurred, but more efforts are needed. Subjects receiving rheumatology care are much more likely to receive DMARDs as compared to those with no rheumatology care. This emphasizes the key role of rheumatologists.

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    ABSTRACT: Accurate data on the burden of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are scarce, but critical in helping health care providers and decision makers to optimize clinical and public health strategies for disease management. We quantified the burden of RA in Ontario from 1996 to 2010 by age, sex and health planning region. We used the Ontario Rheumatoid Arthritis administrative Database (ORAD), a validated population-based cohort of all Ontarians with RA, to estimate the crude prevalence and incidence of RA among men and women, and by age group from 1996 to 2010. Burden by area of patient residence and rheumatology supply also were determined. The number of RA patients increased over time, from 42,734 Ontarians (0.5%) in 1996 to 97,499 (0.9%) in 2010. On average 5,830 new RA patients were diagnosed each year. In 2010, the burden was higher among females (1.3%) than males (0.5%) and increased with age, with almost half of all RA patients aged 65 years and older. The burden was higher in northern communities (1.0%) than in southern urban areas (0.7%). During the study period, the number of rheumatologists practicing in Ontario remained unchanged (approximately 160). Over a 15-year period, the number of RA patients more than doubled with no concomitant increase in the number of practicing rheumatologists. We observed considerable regional variation in burden, with the highest rates observed in the north. Our findings highlight the need for regional approaches to the planning and delivery of RA care in order to manage the growing burden.
    Canadian journal of public health = Revue canadienne de santé publique. 01/2013; 104(7):e450-5.
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    Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.). 04/2014; 66(4):775-82.
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    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to investigate disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) utilization in Korean elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We used data from January 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006 from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service claims database. The study subjects were defined as patients aged 65 yr or older with at least two claims with a diagnosis of RA. DMARD use was compared by the patients' age-group, gender, medical service, and geographic divisions. The patterns of DMARD use in mono- and combination therapy were calculated. RA medication use was calculated by the number of defined daily doses (DDD)/1,000 patients/day. A total of 166,388 patients were identified during the study period. DMARD use in RA patients was 12.0%. The proportion of DMARD use was higher in the younger elderly, females, and patients treated in big cities. Hydroxychloroquine was the most commonly used DMARD in monotherapy, and most of the combination therapies prescribed it with methotrexate. DMARD use in elderly RA patients was noticeably low, although drug prescriptions showed an increasing trend during the study period, clinicians may need to pay more attention to elderly RA patients.
    Journal of Korean medical science 02/2014; 29(2):210-6. · 0.84 Impact Factor

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