Ethnicity Influences Early Inflammatory Arthritis Outcomes

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Different rates of disease remission after three months of treatment correlated with the ethnicities of patients diagnosed with early inflammatory arthritis (EIA), according to findings published in Rheumatology (Oxford).

Researchers conducted an observational cohort study to assess variability in care quality and treatment outcomes across ethnicities in EIA. They analyzed data from 35,807 eligible patients obtained from the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit (NEIAA) between May 8, 2018, and March 27, 2020. Of these patients, 12,955 received a confirmed EIA diagnosis. Patients were divided into 5 groups: 11,315 (87.3%) were White, 314 (2.4%) were Black, 927 (7.1%) were Asian, 70 (0.5%) were of mixed ethnicity, and 329 (2.5%) chose “other” to describe their ethnicity.

Within 3 working days, primary care providers referred 42.7% of White patients and 47.0% of minority patients to a rheumatologist. Patients across ethnic groups had similar probabilities of seeing the rheumatologist within 3 weeks of referral (41.9% for White patients; 43.1% for minority patients). Additionally, the percentage of patients who started treatment within 6 weeks of referral was similar across ethnicities.

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