Public Release: 

Misdiagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis

BioMed Central

In an article recommended by Annelies Boonen of Faculty of 1000 Medicine, researchers look at the way rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed by analysing the administrative databases used by physicians in Quebec.

The authors of the paper, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, report that general practitioners diagnosed 79% of the 10,001 rheumatoid arthritis cases but only 27% of patients then saw a rheumatologist. Half of these patients were seen in the first three months and of these it emerges that only 17% received confirmation they were actually suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatologist, Boonen says, "The low referral rates of cases with suspected rheumatoid arthritis to rheumatologists is worrisome, especially when considering the discrepancy in diagnoses between the initial diagnosis by the non-rheumatologists and the following diagnosis by the rheumatologists."

Boonen recommends further research to confirm the findings and explore the wider implications of the study. "If we really feel the window of opportunity for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis exists, rheumatologists should increase their efforts to raise diagnostic capabilities of first-line physicians towards early diagnosis and referral of suspected patients with rheumatoid arthritis".

###

Notes to Editors:

1 Annelies Boonen, Faculty Member for F1000 Medicine Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology and assistant professor of rheumatology at the University Hospital Maastricht, recommended this article. http://www.f1000medicine.com/article/id/1100374/evaluation/sections

2 Delay in consultation with specialists for persons with suspected new-onset rheumatoid arthritis: a population-based study.
Feldman DE, Bernatsky S, Haggerty J, Leffondré K, Tousignant P, Roy Y, Xiao Y, Zummer M, Abrahamowicz M Arthritis Rheum 2007 Dec 15 57(8):1419-25
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/117347080/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

3 Faculty of 1000 Medicine's evaluation of this article is available at www.f1000medicine.com

Please name Faculty of 1000 Medicine in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the website.

4 Faculty of 1000 Medicine, www.f1000medicine.com, is a unique online service that helps you stay informed of high impact articles and access the opinions of global leaders in medicine. Our distinguished international faculty select and evaluate key articles across medicine, providing a rapidly updated, authoritative guide to the medical literature that matters.

5 Please contact Jemima Tonks for a complimentary journalist subscription to Faculty of 1000 Medicine.

6 Alternative contact:
Charlotte Webber
Press Office, BioMed Central
+44 (0)207 631 9980
press@biomedcentral.com

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.