Public Release:  Blood deficiencies are strong predictors of poor outcome

European League Against Rheumatism

Rome, Italy, Saturday 19 June 2010: For healthcare professionals diagnosing primary Sjögren's Syndrome (pSS, an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells attack and destroy moisture-producing glands), the incidence of blood based deficiencies is the strongest predictor of a poor outcome in patients according to the results of a study presented today at EULAR 2010, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome, Italy. The study also showed that liver and lung involvement and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) development were also related to an increased mortality in pSS patients.

Results of a Spanish study have shown that patients who present with concurrent anemia (a reduced number of red blood cells), lymphocytopenia (a reduced number of white blood cells), or hypocomplementemia (where components of blood are lacking or reduced) were the most likely to develop poor outcomes, such as lymphoma. The existence of pulmonary (lung fibrosis, brochiectasis) and hepatic (biliary cirrhosis, autoimmune hepatitis) involvement were also shown to be independent risk factors related to mortality.

"Whilst pSS is often characterised by changes in exocrine function, the results of our study have determined the profile of some of the non-exocrine signs of the disease, including the pulmonary, haematological and hepatic manifestations," said Professor Roser Solans-Laqué, Internal Medicine, Vall D'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain. "We hope that the results of our study will enable a better understanding of the factors that impact prognosis with the aim of monitoring for and managing these appropriately in the future."

Two hundred and forty-four patients (females n=235 males n=9) with pSS (primary SS occurs as a disorder on its own, with no known association with another connective tissue disease or rheumatic condition) registered at the Vall D'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona were included in this single centre study. Mean age was 58 years, and clinical follow up ranged from nine months to 20 years (mean 8.6 years). Statistical analyses including multiple logistic regression were undertaken to determine associations between disease manifestations and patient outcome. At 20 year follow up, 11 patients (4.5%) had developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma, 22 (9%) patients had developed other malignancies (including lung, colon, breast and gynaecological neoplasms), and 18 (7.4%) of patients had died. Only an excess mortality due to lymphoproliferative malignancies was found in patients with pSS.

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Abstract Number: SAT0252

For further information on this study, or to request an interview with the study lead, please do not hesitate to contact the EULAR congress Press Office on the 1st floor in Hall 5 of the Congress Centre during EULAR 2010 or on:
Email: eularpressoffice@uk.cohnwolfe.com
Rory Berrie: Onsite tel: +44 7901 513 297
Caroline Butt: Onsite tel: +44 7789 270 392

  • The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) is the organisation which represents the patient, health professional and scientific societies of rheumatology of all the European nations.
  • In line with The European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), EULAR defines rheumatology as including rheumatic diseases of the connective tissue, locomotor and musculoskeletal systems.
  • The aims of EULAR are to stimulate, promote, and support the research, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of rheumatic diseases. To this end, EULAR fosters excellence in education and research in the field of rheumatology. It promotes the translation of research advances into daily care and fights for the recognition of the needs of people with rheumatic diseases.
  • EULAR 2010 is set to be the biggest rheumatology event in Europe with over 15,000 scientists, physicians, allied health professionals, and related audiences in attendance from over 100 countries. Over the course of the congress, almost 300 oral and more than 1600 poster abstract presentations will be featured, with 300 invited speaker lectures taking place in more than 140 sessions.
  • To find out more about the activities of EULAR, visit: www.eular.org

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