To examine whether erosive hand osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with knee subchondral bone attrition (SBA) and systemic bone mineral density (BMD).
Associations of MRI-defined knee SBA with radiographic erosive hand OA were evaluated in 1253 Framingham participants using logistic regression with generalised estimating equations. We also examined the association between the number of erosive OA finger joints and SBA adjusted for the number of non-erosive OA finger joints. Associations between erosive hand OA and femoral neck BMD were explored in 2236 participants with linear regression. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex and body mass index.
Participants with erosive hand OA had increased odds of knee SBA (OR=1.60, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.38). The relation between the number of erosive OA finger joints and SBA became non-significant when adjusted for the number of non-erosive OA joints as a proxy for the burden of disease. There was a non-significant trend towards higher BMD in erosive hand OA compared with participants without hand OA.
Erosive hand OA was associated with knee SBA, but the relation might be best explained by a heightened burden of disease. No significant relation of erosive hand OA with BMD was found.
NSAIDs; COX-2 inhibitor; colchicine; corticosteroid therapy; prednisone; intra-articular glucocorticosteroids; ACTH; anakinra; canakinumb; rilonacept; IL-1
Allopurinol; Febuxostat; Probenecid; Pegloticase; Uricosuric; Xanthine Oxidase; Tophi
Vitamin D levels ≥30 ng/ml are commonly considered “normal” based upon maximal suppression of intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH); however, this has recently been challenged and the optimal 25(OH)D level among non-Caucasians is unclear. We evaluated the cross-sectional relationship between serum 25(OH)D and iPTH in a sample of Caucasian and African American adults.
We used baseline serum samples of participants from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) for this analysis, and used three methods to model the relationship between 25(OH)D and iPTH: ordinary least squares regression (OLS), segmented regression, and Helmert contrasts.
Among Caucasians (n=1,258), 25(OH)D and iPTH ranged from 4-51 ng/ml and 2-120 pg/ml and from 3-32 ng/ml and 3-119 pg/ml in African Americans (n=423). We observed different thresholds between African Americans and Caucasians using each analytic technique. Using 25(OH)D as a categorical variable in OLS, iPTH was statistically higher at lower 25(OH)D categories than the 24-32 ng/ml referent group among Caucasians. However, in African Americans, the mean iPTH was only significantly higher at 25(OH)D levels below 15 ng/ml. Using segmented regression, iPTH appeared to stabilize at a lower 25(OH)D level in African Americans (19-23 ng/ml) compared to in Caucasians (>32 ng/ml). Helmert contrasts also revealed a lower threshold in African Americans than Caucasians.
Among MOST participants, the 25(OH)D thresholds at which no further change in iPTH was observed was approximately 20 ng/ml in African Americans versus approximately 30 ng/ml in Caucasians, suggesting optimal vitamin D levels in Caucasians may not be applicable to African Americans.
vitamin D; parathyroid hormone; racial differences; African American; thresholds; osteoporosis
While depressive symptoms and knee pain are independently known to impede daily walking in older adults, it is unknown whether positive affect promotes daily walking. This study investigated this association among adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and examined whether knee pain modified this association.
Cross-sectional analysis of the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. We included 1018 participants (mean age 63.1 ± 7.8 years, 60% female) who had radiographic knee OA and had worn a StepWatch monitor to record steps/day. High- and low- positive affect, and depressive symptoms were based on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale. Knee pain was categorized as present in respondents who reported pain on most days at both a clinic visit and a telephone screen.
Compared to respondents with low positive affect (27% of respondents), those with high positive affect (63%) walked similar steps/day while those with depressive symptoms (10%) walked less (adjusted beta coefficients = −32.6 [−458.9, 393.8] and −579.1 [−1274.9, 116.7], respectively). There was a statistically significant interaction of positive affect by knee pain (p= 0.0045). Among respondents with knee pain (39%), those with high positive affect walked significantly more steps/day (711.0 [55.1, 1366.9]) than those with low positive affect.
High positive affect was associated with more daily walking among adults with painful knee OA. Positive affect may be an important psychological factor to consider to promote physical activity among people with painful knee OA.
Physical Activity; Positive Affect; Depressive Symptoms; Knee Pain; Walking
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, with knee osteoarthritis being the leading cause of lower extremity disability among older adults in the US. There are no treatments available to prevent the structural pathology of osteoarthritis. Because of vitamin K’s role in regulating skeletal mineralization, it has potential to be a preventative option for osteoarthritis. We therefore examined the relation of vitamin K to new-onset radiographic knee osteoarthritis and early osteoarthritis changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Subjects from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis (MOST) Study had knee radiographs and MRI scans obtained at baseline and 30 months later, and plasma phylloquinone (vitamin K) measured at baseline. We examined the relationship of subclinical vitamin K deficiency to incident radiographic knee osteoarthritis and MRI-based cartilage lesions and osteophytes, respectively, using log binomial regression with generalized estimating equations, adjusting for potential confounders.
Among 1180 participants (62% women, mean age 62 ± 8 years, mean body mass index 30.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2), subclinical vitamin K deficiency was associated with incident radiographic knee osteoarthritis (risk ratio [RR] 1.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08–2.25) and cartilage lesions (RR 2.39; 95% CI, 1.05–5.40) compared with no deficiency, but not with osteophytes (RR 2.35; 95% CI, 0.54–10.13). Subclinically vitamin K-deficient subjects were more likely to develop osteoarthritis in one or both knees than neither knee (RR 1.33; 95% CI, 1.01–1.75 and RR 2.12; 95% CI, 1.06-4.24, respectively).
In the first such longitudinal study, subclinical vitamin K deficiency was associated with increased risk of developing radiographic knee osteoarthritis and MRI-based cartilage lesions. Further study of vitamin K is warranted given its therapeutic/prophylactic potential for osteoarthritis.
Incident knee osteoarthritis; MRI cartilage abnormalities; Vitamin K
Chronic widespread pain (CWP) is a common disorder affecting ~10% of the general population and has an estimated heritability of 48-52%. In the first large-scale genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis, we aimed to identify common genetic variants associated with CWP.
We conducted a GWAS meta-analysis in 1,308 female CWP cases and 5,791 controls of European descent, and replicated the effects of the genetic variants with suggestive evidence for association in 1,480 CWP cases and 7,989 controls (P<1×10−5). Subsequently, we studied gene expression levels of the nearest genes in two chronic inflammatory pain mouse models, and examined 92 genetic variants previously described associated with pain.
The minor C-allele of rs13361160 on chromosome 5p15.2, located upstream of CCT5 and downstream of FAM173B, was found to be associated with a 30% higher risk of CWP (MAF=43%; OR=1.30, 95%CI=1.19-1.42, P=1.2×10−8). Combined with the replication, we observed a slightly attenuated OR of 1.17 (95%CI=1.10-1.24, P=4.7×10−7) with moderate heterogeneity (I2=28.4%). However, in a sensitivity analysis that only allowed studies with joint-specific pain, the combined association was genome-wide significant (OR=1.23, 95%CI=1.14-1.32, P=3.4×10−8, I2=0%). Expression levels of Cct5 and Fam173b in mice with inflammatory pain were higher in the lumbar spinal cord, not in the lumbar dorsal root ganglions, compared to mice without pain. None of the 92 genetic variants previously described were significantly associated with pain (P>7.7×10−4).
We identified a common genetic variant on chromosome 5p15.2 associated with joint-specific CWP in humans. This work suggests that CCT5 and FAM173B are promising targets in the regulation of pain.
Gene Polymorphism; Fibromyalgia/Pain Syndromes; Epidemiology
Giant cell (GCA) and Takayasu’s arteritis (TAK) are 2 forms of large-vessel vasculitis (LVV) that involve the aorta and its major branches. GCA has a predilection for the cranial branches, while TAK tends to affect the extracranial branches. Both disorders may also cause nonspecific constitutional symptoms. Although some clinical features are more common in one or the other disorder and the ages of initial presentation differ substantially, there is enough clinical and histopathologic overlap between these disorders that some investigators suggest GCA and TAK may be 2 processes within the spectrum of a single disease. There have been few randomized therapeutic trials completed in GCA, and none in TAK. The lack of therapeutic trials in LVV is only partially explained by the rarity of these diseases. It is likely that the lack of well validated outcome measures for LVV and uncertainties regarding trial design contribute to the paucity of trials for these diseases. An initiative to develop a core set of outcome measures for use in clinical trials of LVV was launched by the international OMERACT Vasculitis Working Group in 2009 and subsequently endorsed by the OMERACT community at the OMERACT 10 meeting. Aims of this initiative include: (1) to review the literature and existing data related to outcome assessments in LVV; (2) to obtain the opinion of experts and patients on disease content; and (3) to formulate a research agenda to facilitate a more data-based approach to outcomes development.
VASCULITIS; OUTCOMES; TAKAYASU’S ARTERITIS; GIANT CELL ARTERITIS
Basic research and clinical studies have implicated a role for hyperuricemia and for xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR), the enzyme that generates uric acid (UA), in not only gout but also vascular diseases. At present, asymptomatic hyperuricemia (i.e., in the absence of gout, urate nephrolithiasis, or tumor lysis syndrome) is not an indication for therapy. With the rise over the past several decades in prevalence of both gout and hyperuricemia, clarifying the potential adverse effects of hyperuricemia (in patients with and without gout) is of public health importance. UA is not simply an inert end-product of purine metabolism in humans, but rather has potential antioxidant, pro-oxidant, and pro-inflammatory effects. However controversy remains as to which, if any, of these effects are of clinical relevance in development and complications of human vascular diseases in gout and asymptomatic hyperuricemia. Clearly, not all individuals with hyperuricemia develop gout, and studies to date have also been unable to clarify in which subjects hyperuricemia may have detrimental effects on the vasculature. Further, studies of urate-lowering therapy with XOR inhibition or uricosuric agents have not been able to definitively identify whether any such effects may be mediated by UA versus XO. Adequately sized, prospective randomized clinical trials of sufficient duration, and employing appropriate biomarkers, now appear critical to resolve the putative toxic roles of UA and XO in the human arterial circulation.
urate; uric acid; hypertension; endothelium; smooth muscle cell; nitric oxide; myeloperoxidase; xanthine oxidase; allopurinol; atherosclerosis
Mutations in SCN9A, encoding the alpha subunit of the voltage-gated sodium channel (Nav1.7), have caused severe pain disorders and congenital insensitivity to pain. The aim of this study was to validate the previously reported association between a common non-synonymous polymorphism (R1150W, rs6746030) in SCN9A and chronic widespread pain (CWP), in independent population-based cohorts.
Genotype data for rs6746030 was available in four population-based cohorts (EPIFUND, the European Male Ageing Study (EMAS), the Framingham study and the Dyne Steel DNA Bank of Ageing and Cognition). Pain was assessed using body manikins and CWP was scored using American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria in all cohorts, except the Framingham study which assessed widespread pain (WP) using ACR criteria on a joint pain homunculus. Controls were subjects who reported no pain. Logistic regression (additive genetic model) was used to test for association between rs6746030 and CWP compared to controls, adjusting for study centre in EMAS. Generalised estimating equation regression was used to test for association between rs6746030 and WP, whilst accounting for relatedness between subjects in the Framingham study.
Genotype data for rs6746030 was available for 1071 CWP cases and 3212 controls. There was no significant association between CWP and rs6476030 in individual cohorts or when combined in a fixed-effects meta-analysis (Odds Ratio = 0.96 (95% confidence interval 0.82, 1.11) p = 0.567).
In contrast to a previous study, no association between a non-synonymous polymorphism in SCN9A and CWP was observed in multiple population-based cohorts.
Chronic widespread pain; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Voltage-gated sodium channel; Population-based cohorts
There has been a growing recognition of the need for better pharmacologic management of chronic pain among older adults. To address this need, the National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium sponsored an “Expert Panel Discussion on the Pharmacological Management of Chronic Pain in Older Adults” conference in September, 2010, to identify research gaps and strategies to address them. Specific emphasis was placed on ascertaining gaps regarding use of opioid and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications because of continued uncertainties regarding their risks and benefits.
Eighteen panel members provided oral presentations; each was followed by a multidisciplinary panel discussion. Meeting transcripts and panelists’ slide presentations were reviewed to identify the gaps, and the types of studies and research methods panelists suggested could best address them.
Fifteen gaps were identified in the areas of treatment(e.g., uncertainty regarding the long-term safety and efficacy of commonly prescribed analgesics), epidemiology (e.g., lack of knowledge regarding the course of common pain syndromes), and implementation(e.g., limited understanding of optimal strategies to translate evidence-based pain treatments into practice). Analyses of data from electronic health care databases, observational cohort studies, and ongoing cohort studies (augmented with pain and other relevant outcomes measures) were felt to be practical methods for building an age-appropriate evidence base to improve the pharmacologic management of pain in later life.
Addressing the gaps presented in the current report was judged by the panel to have substantial potential to improve the health and well being of older adults with chronic pain.
Analgesic use; chronic non-cancer pain; older adults
Factors associated with mineralization and osteophyte formation in osteoarthritis (OA) are incompletely understood. Genetic polymorphisms of matrix Gla protein (MGP), a mineralization inhibitor, have been associated clinically with conditions of abnormal calcification. We therefore evaluated the relationship of MGP concentrations and polymorphisms at the MGP locus to hand OA.
Ours was an ancillary study to a 3-year randomized trial assessing the effect of vitamin K supplementation on vascular calcification and bone loss among community-dwelling elders. We studied participants who had serum MGP concentration measured and DNA genotyped for 3 MGP genetic polymorphisms (rs1800802, rs1800801, and rs4236), and who had hand radiographs. We evaluated the cross-sectional associations of serum MGP and the 3 MGP genetic polymorphisms, respectively, with radiographic hand OA using logistic regression with generalized estimating equations, adjusting for potential confounders.
Radiographic hand OA in ≥ 1 joint was present in 71% of the 376 participants (mean age 74 years, mean body mass index 28 kg/m2, 59% women). No significant association between serum MGP concentrations and radiographic hand OA was found [adjusted OR 1.0 (ref), 1.40, 1.21, and 1.21 for quartiles 1–4, respectively]. Homozygosity of the rs1800802 minor allele was associated with 0.56 times lower prevalence of hand OA compared with having ≥ 1 major allele at this locus (95% CI 0.32–0.99, p = 0.046).
There may be an association between hand OA and genetic polymorphism at the MGP locus that is not reflected by total MGP serum concentrations. Further studies are warranted to replicate and elucidate potential mechanisms underlying these observed associations.
MATRIX GLA PROTEIN; POLYMORPHISM; OSTEOARTHRITIS; VITAMIN K
Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis, is now understood to involve all joint tissues, with active anabolic and catabolic processes. Knee OA in particular is considered to be a largely mechanically-driven disease. As bone adapts to loads by remodeling to meet its mechanical demands, bone alterations likely play an important role in OA development. Subchondral bone changes in bone turnover, mineralization, and volume result in altered apparent and material density of bone that may adversely affect the joint’s biomechanical environment. Subchondral bone alterations such as bone marrow lesions (BMLs) and subchondral bone attrition (SBA) both tend to occur more frequently in the more loaded knee compartments, and are associated with cartilage loss in the same region. Recently, MRI-based 3D bone shape has been shown to track concurrently with and predict OA onset.
The contributions of structural abnormalities to the clinical manifestations of knee OA are becoming better understood as well. While a structure-symptom discordance in knee OA is thought to exist, such observations do not take into account all potential factors that can contribute to between-person differences in the pain experience. Using novel methodology, pain fluctuation has been associated with changes in BMLs, synovitis and effusion. SBA has also been associated with knee pain, but the relationship of osteophytes to pain has been conflicting.
Understanding the pathophysiologic sequences and consequences of OA pathology will guide rational therapeutic targeting. Importantly, rational treatment targets require understanding what structures contribute to pain as pain is the reason patients seek medical care.
To examine whether the consistency or persistence of knee pain, in addition to its severity, predicts incident total knee replacement (TKR).
The Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) is a longitudinal study of persons aged 50 to 79 years with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis or at high risk of disease. Subjects were queried about the presence of knee pain on most days of the previous 30 days (i.e., frequent knee pain; FKP) at 2 timepoints: a telephone screen followed by a clinic visit (median separation 4 weeks). We defined a knee as having “consistent pain” if the subject answered positively to the FKP question at both timepoints, “inconsistent pain” if FKP was positive at only one timepoint, or as “no FKP” if negative at both. We examined the association between consistent FKP and risk of TKR using multiple binomial regression with generalized estimating equations.
In 3026 persons (mean age 63 yrs, mean body mass index 30.4), 2979 knees (50%) had no FKP at baseline, 1279 knees (21.5%) had inconsistent FKP, and 1696 knees (28.5%) had consistent FKP. Risk of TKR over 30 months was 0.8%, 2.6%, and 8.8% for knees with no, inconsistent, and consistent FKP, respectively. Relative risks of TKR over 30 months were 1.2 (95% CI 0.6–2.3) and 2.3 (95% CI 1.2–4.4) for knees with inconsistent and consistent FKP, compared with those without FKP. This association was consistent across each level of pain severity on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.
Consistency of frequent knee pain is associated with an increased risk of TKR independently of knee pain severity. (First Release April 15 2011; J Rheumatol 2011;38:1390–5; doi:10.3899/jrheum.100743)
OSTEOARTHRITIS; PAIN; JOINT REPLACEMENT; KNEE
Practice guidelines recommend addressing obesity for people with knee OA, however, the association of obesity with walking independent of pain is not known. We investigated this association within the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study, a cohort of older adults who have or are at high risk of knee OA. Subjects wore a StepWatch to record steps taken over 7 days. We measured knee pain from a visual analogue scale and obesity by BMI. We examined the association of obesity with walking using linear regression adjusting for pain and covariates. Of 1788 subjects, the mean steps/day taken was 8872.9 ± 3543.4. Subjects with a BMI ≥35 took 3355 fewer steps per day independent of knee pain compared with those with a BMI ≤25 (95% CI −3899, −2811). BMI accounted for 9.7% of the variability of walking while knee pain accounted for 2.9%. BMI was associated with walking independent of knee pain.
Purpose of review
We discuss herein the recent published epidemiologic data regarding risk factors for incident and progressive knee osteoarthritis (OA), and related knee pain to identify targets for primary and secondary prevention. We also discuss the recently identified methodologic challenges to the study of knee OA, particularly for identifying risk factors for OA progression.
Recent epidemiologic studies of knee OA have confirmed that being overweight and obese, as well as biomechanical factors such as knee injuries, leg-length inequalities, and likely malalignment increase the risk for incident knee OA. Obesity also appears to play a role in accelerating OA worsening. However, with the exception of malalignment, no risk factors for knee OA progression have been identified. Novel approaches to the study of knee pain have demonstrated a strong association between structural abnormalities and presence of knee pain, contrary to the “so-called” structure-symptom discordance, as well as between fluctuations of knee pain with changes in specific structural lesions. A number of methodologic issues have been identified which may explain, in part, the difficulty in identifying risk factors for knee OA, particularly OA progression.
Few new risk factors for knee OA have been identified. Without such knowledge, prevention of OA remains challenging.
incident radiographic knee osteoarthritis; progressive radiographic knee osteoarthritis; knee pain; risk factors
Local inflammation plays a prominent role in osteoarthritis (OA). This could be reflected in the presence of elevated soluble inflammatory markers. We conducted analyses to assess the association of inflammatory markers with radiographic OA of the hands and knees in a large community-based cohort.
The Framingham Offspring cohort consists of the adult children of the original cohort and their spouses. In 1998–2001 these subjects provided blood specimens that were tested for 17 markers of systemic inflammation. In 2002–2005 these subjects had radiographs of both knees and hands. Each hand and knee joint was assigned a Kellgren and Lawrence (KL) score (0–4). We used logistic regression with generalized estimating equations and adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index to examine the association between each inflammatory marker and the presence of radiographic OA (ROA = KL grade ≥ 2) in any joint. We also constructed models for hand joints and knee joints alone.
Radiographs and measures of inflammation were done for 1235 subjects (56% women, mean age 65 yrs). Of that group, 729 subjects (59%) had ROA in ≥ 1 hand or knee joint: 179 (14.3%) had knee OA, and 694 (56.2%) had hand OA. There were no significant associations between any marker of inflammation and ROA.
In this large sample, in which OA was carefully assessed and multiple markers measured, we found no evidence of an association between any inflammatory marker and the presence of radiographic OA.
OSTEOARTHRITIS; BIOLOGICAL MARKERS; INFLAMMATION
Development of functional limitation is thought to be unrelated to changes in severity of radiographic knee osteoarthritis (ROA). We evaluated the relation of change in ROA to the incidence of severe functional limitation.
Participants of the Multicenter Osteoarthritis (MOST) Study, a cohort study of persons with or at high risk of knee OA were evaluated at 0 and 30 months. Subjects were classified as having no, incident, stable, or worsening ROA. Incidence of severe functional limitation was defined as 1) WOMAC physical function scores (≥ 36/68) and 2) walking speed (≤ 1.0 m/s) at 30 months. The relation of change in ROA to the incidence of severe functional limitation was evaluated by calculating risk ratios adjusted for potential confounders.
Of the 2110 subjects included (mean age 62, mean BMI 30 kg/m2, female 60%), 53% had no, 6% incident, 14% stable, and 27% worsening ROA. Persons with incident ROA had 1.9 and 1.8 times the risk by WOMAC physical function and walking speed, respectively, to have incident severe functional limitation compared with those with no ROA over 30 months. Compared with those with stable ROA, persons with worsening ROA had 2.2 and 2.5 times the risk of incident severe functional limitation, respectively.
Changes in structural disease are associated with the development of severe functional limitations in persons with or even those at high risk of knee OA.
The extent and factors associated with knee pain fluctuation are not well-known. We evaluated the prevalence, correlates, and association with function of consistency of knee pain.
Participants of The Multicenter Osteoarthritis (MOST) Study, a cohort of individuals with or at high risk of knee osteoarthritis (OA) had baseline knee x-rays, questionnaires, and a question about frequent knee pain (FKnP) (pain on most of the past 30 days) at two time points: a telephone screen and a later clinic visit. We computed the prevalence of inconsistent knee pain (positive answer to FKnP question at only one time point) and consistent knee pain (positive answer to FKnP question at both time points). We evaluated the association of consistency of FKnP with a number of sociodemographic factors, pain severity, and function.
There were 2940 participants with complete data (5867 knees) (mean age 62, mean BMI 30.7, 60% female). Of those, 2977 knees had pain, with 43% having inconsistent and 57% having consistent knee pain. Those with radiographic OA (OR 0.46), depressive symptoms (OR 0.73), and widespread pain (OR 0.68) (all p<0.05) were less likely to have inconsistent compared with consistent knee pain. Pain, function, and strength were significantly better in persons with 2 knees that had inconsistent compared with consistent pain.
A substantial proportion of persons with knee pain have inconsistent knee pain, associated with better physical function and strength (adjusting for pain severity). Such pain may be suggestive of an earlier stage of disease.
Osteoarthritis; Knee pain; Temporal pattern; function
The American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism have developed new classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of Phase 2 of the development process was to achieve expert consensus on the clinical and laboratory variables that should contribute to the final criteria set.
Twenty-four expert RA clinicians (12 from Europe and 12 from North America) participated in Phase 2. A consensus-based decision analysis approach was used to identify factors (and their relative weights) that influence the probability of “developing RA,” complemented by data from the Phase 1 study. Patient case scenarios were used to identify and reach consensus on factors important in determining the probability of RA development. Decision analytic software was used to derive the relative weights for each of the factors and their categories, using choice-based conjoint analysis.
The expert panel agreed that the new classification criteria should be applied to individuals with undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis in whom at least 1 joint is deemed by an expert assessor to be swollen, indicating definite synovitis. In this clinical setting, they identified 4 additional criteria as being important: number of joints involved and site of involvement, serologic abnormality, acute-phase response, and duration of symptoms in the involved joints. These criteria were consistent with those identified in the Phase 1 data-driven approach.
The consensus-based, decision analysis approach used in Phase 2 complemented the Phase 1 efforts. The 4 criteria and their relative weights form the basis of the final criteria set.
The past decade has seen a substantial increase in the number and quality of clinical trials of new therapies for vasculitis, including randomized, controlled, multicenter trials that have successfully incorporated measures of disease activity and toxicity. However, because current treatment regimens for severe disease effectively induce initial remission and reduce mortality, future trials will focus on any of several goals including: (a) treatment of mild—moderate disease; (b) prevention of chronic damage; (c) reduction in treatment toxicity; or (d) more subtle differences in remission induction or maintenance. Thus, new trials will require outcome measure instruments that are more precise and are better able to detect effective treatments for different disease states and measure chronic manifestations of disease. The OMERACT Vasculitis Working Group comprises international clinical investigators with expertise in vasculitis who, since 2002, have worked collaboratively to advance the refinement of outcome measures in vasculitis, create new measures to address domains of illness not covered by current research approaches, and harmonize outcome assessment in vasculitis. The focus of the OMERACT group to date has been on outcome measures in small-vessel vasculitis with an overall goal of creating a core set of outcome measures for vasculitis, each of which fulfills the OMERACT filter of truth, discrimination, feasibility, and identifying additional domains requiring further research. This process has been informed by several ongoing projects providing data on outcomes of disease activity, disease-related damage, multidimensional health-related quality of life, and patient-reported ratings of the burden of vasculitis.
VASCULITIS; OUTCOMES; ACTIVITY; DAMAGE
Urate may have effects on vascular remodeling and atherosclerosis. We had shown an association between serum uric acid (SUA) and carotid atherosclerotic plaques. Inflammation and vascular remodeling in atherosclerosis promote coronary artery calcification (CAC), a preclinical marker for atherosclerosis. Here, we examined whether SUA is associated with CAC, using the same study sample and methods as for our previous carotid atherosclerosis study.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study is a multicenter study designed to assess risk factors for heart disease. Participants were recruited from population-based cohorts in the US states of Massachusetts, North Carolina, Minnesota, Utah, and Alabama. CAC was assessed with helical computed tomography (CT). We conducted sex-specific and family-cluster analyses, as well as additional analyses among persons without risk factors related to both cardiovascular disease and hyperuricemia, adjusting for potential confounders as we had in the previous study of carotid atherosclerosis.
For the CAC study, 2412 subjects had both SUA and helical CT results available (55% women, age 58 ± 13 yrs, body mass index 27.6 ± 5.3). We found no association of SUA with CAC in men or women [OR in men: 1.0, 1.11, 0.86, 0.90; women: 1.0, 0.83, 1.00, 0.87 for increasing categories of SUA: < 5 (referent group), 5 to < 6, 6 to < 6.8, ≥ 6.8 mg/dl, respectively], nor in subgroup analyses.
Replicating the methods used to demonstrate an association of SUA with carotid atherosclerosis did not reveal any association between SUA and CAC, suggesting that SUA likely does not contribute to atherosclerosis through effects on arterial calcification. The possibility that urate has divergent pathophysiologic effects on atherosclerosis and artery calcification merits further study.
URIC ACID; CORONARY ARTERY CALCIFICATION; ATHEROSCLEROSIS