Better RA Care
The family histories the research found to be associated with an increased risk for RA “should increase suspicion of RA when providers are considering a diagnosis of RA,” Dr. Crowson says. She believes the family histories associated with an increased risk for RA could be used to refine tools to predict who is going to develop RA.
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“These family histories along with other factors, such as the presence of rheumatoid factor or cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies, should be used to identify people at risk for developing RA who may benefit from additional screening for RA or preventive strategies,” Dr. Crowson says. “Early initiation of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs can prevent irreversible joint damage and improve the long-term health outcomes of people with RA.”
Carina Stanton is a freelance science journalist based in Denver.
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- Kuo CF, Grainge MJ, Valdes AM, et al. Familial aggregation of rheumatoid arthritis and co-aggregation of autoimmune diseases in affected families: A nationwide population-based study. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2017 Jun 1;56(6):928–933.
- Kronzer VL, Crowson CS, Sparks JA, et al. Family history of rheumatologic, autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases and risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2019 Nov 30. [Epub ahead of print].
- Chung CP, Rohan P, Krishnaswami S, et al. A systematic review of validated methods for identifying patients with rheumatoid arthritis using administrative or claims data. Vaccine. 2013 Dec 30;31 Suppl 10:K41–K61.