To assess bone mineral density (BMD) changes in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) undergoing longterm therapy with corticosteroids (CS) while taking calcium, calcitriol, or alendronate. The primary endpoint was BMD changes at 2 years.
OBJECTIVE: We describe a 10 year observation of the effect of control of hyperuricemia compared with self-medication alone in patients with chronic gout.
METHODS: We studied 299 consecutively self-referred Malayo-Polynesian men with chronic gout, mean age 35 +/- 14.3 SD years. Subjects comprised 228 cases with chronic gout without tophi or urolithiasis (Group 1) and 71 with those complications (Group 2). Attacks of acute gouty arthritis were treated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID) and/or corticosteroids. After acute arthritis had settled, urate-lowering drugs were instituted in both groups combined with low dose colchicine and/or low dose NSAID for at least 0.5-2 years. Urate levels were maintained longterm at a mean of < 5 mg/dl. After 10 years, the dropouts were traced and evaluated for comparison with baseline and those who remained in the study. In Group 2 the urate-lowering drugs were continued.
RESULTS: Control of gout and hyperuricemia was achieved in all patients who remained under control: 91.6% of the 299 patients for at least 2 years (short-term), up to 5 years in 87.5% (medium term), and up to 10 years in 79.6% (longterm). In Group 1 (chronic gout without complication) only 36.8% had no attacks during 8 years, after they had tapered urate-lowering drug after the first 2 years of the study. In the 61 dropouts the intermittent symptomatic treatment and/or self-medication without longterm control of hyperuricemia resulted after 1 decade in chronic gout with more complications and associated conditions leading to increased morbidity, disability, and comorbidity, and 3 early mortalities.
CONCLUSION: By controlling hyperuricemia, improvement of the prognosis of chronic gout, comorbidity, and early death was achieved compared with self-medication alone. Self-medication in a developing country if continued unchecked may become a public health problem in a population with a high prevalence rate of gout.
To determine the effects of ethnicity on disease manifestations in Oriental patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to describe the risk of developing renal or central nervous system (CNS) involvement with time.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical features of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in a multiethnic Oriental population and to study the effect of ethnicity on disease patterns.
METHODS: A retrospective study of 80 patients with PsA seen at either a rheumatology or dermatology referral center. Patients and case records were reviewed and data abstracted according to a standard protocol. Eighty consecutive patients with psoriasis without PsA seen at the dermatology center were recruited as controls.
RESULTS: Asymmetric polyarthritis developing in the 4th decade with an equal male to female ratio was the commonest pattern of arthritis among Chinese, Indians, and Malays. Clinically apparent lumbar spondylitis was significantly more common in Indians than Chinese (10/11 vs 11/20, respectively; p = 0.046), although the prevalence of lumbar spondylitis was similar in all ethnic groups. Eighty-nine percent of subjects required nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and 51% required disease modifying antirheumatic drugs at some time for control of joint disease. PsA was significantly more common among Indians compared to the ethnic distribution of the Singapore population (p < 0.000001). Multiple logistic regression identified Indian ethnicity as a risk factor for the development of PsA (OR 2.39, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 5.60).
CONCLUSION: The commonest pattern of PsA in all ethnic groups was asymmetric polyarthritis. Ethnicity affected the development and presentation of PsA in our series: Indians with psoriasis had double the risk of developing PsA compared to Chinese with psoriasis, and lumbar spondylitis when present in Chinese subjects was asymptomatic in 45%, being detectable only on radiological examination.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and gout have been associated infrequently. We describe 3 young adults with SLE who developed tophaceous gout relatively early in the course of their disease. All were underexcretors of uric acid but were studied after the development of renal disease; 2 were treated with diuretics. In 2 cases, gout became obvious while lupus was quiescent.
To determine whether the previously noted low prevalence of knee pain (KP) and lumbar pain (LP) in rural southern China compared with the high prevalence observed in North China was also true in a southern urban population.
Objective. To assess the nature and extent of rheumatic complaints in a semirural area in a multiracial (Malay, Indian, Chinese) community in Malaysia using the Community Oriented Program for the Control of Rheumatic Diseases (COPCORD) protocol initiated by ILAR and the WHO.
Methods. All members of a community of 2700 persons over the age of 15 years were offered a questionnaire based interview in Phase 1 of the study. Those with rheumatic complaints (pain in the last 1 week) were invited for a physical examination by a rheumatologist in Phase 2.
Results. In total, 2594 (96%) persons agreed to a questionnaire based interview. Of those interviewed, 21.1% had a current rheumatic complaint. The pain rate was higher in women (23.8%) than in men (17.8%). Chinese men had the lowest age-standardized pain rate (9.9%), while Indian women had the highest rate (28.4%). In the study population, 14.4% complained of pain in the joints and/or musculoskeletal pain and 11.6% had low back pain. The knee was responsible for 64.8% of all complaints pertaining to the joints, and more than half those examined with knee pain had clinical evidence of osteoarthritis (OA). The complaint rate increased with age, up to 53.4% in the group age > 65 years. The major disability encountered was the inability to squat (3.1%). Fibromyalgia, soft tissue lesions, and localized OA of the knees were the main clinical diagnoses. Inflammatory arthritis was uncommon. Both Western and traditional sources of healthcare were used, often together. Self-medication was common (58.8%).
Conclusion. Knee and back pain are the main rheumatic complaints in Malaysia, with complaint rates differing according to race and gender.