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Monday, May 27, 2013
  Clinical Accuracy Spoken Here  

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):
Many Questions Remain

RA is a multifaceted polygenic disease for which the etiology remains unknown.

The fact that patients with RA have higher mortality rates than the general population is widely recognized but not fully explained.

Women are afflicted with RA two to four times as often as men and evidence exists that this predisposition is hormonally-related but the mechanism by which gender influences the susceptibility to RA remains unresolved.

[Reference: RA, Module A, Prevalence and Pathophysiology]

  Excellence in Case Mgmt  

RA: CM Challenges

The RA patient population may be one of the more challenging patient populations to merit initial screening when prompts are made solely on diagnostic coding.

CMs must be sensitive to realizing that, while there may be existing barriers to establishing open communication, education and self-care are critical elements of successful RA therapy.

The presence of co-morbidities contributes to difficulties in self-care.

Pain is a common problem which must be controlled in RA patients. The American Pain Society (APS) has developed a treatment flowchart which provides an overview of key treatment areas for RA-appropriate pain-related interventions.

[Reference: RA, Module D, CM Role]

  Improving Patient Care...  

About RA: What is Known?

The clinical manifestations of RA result from a complex interaction in the synovial tissues.

Genetic factors play an important role and likely account for 50% to 60% of the risk of developing RA.

Cigarette smoking by far has the strongest RA risk association among environmental factors.

RA begins insidiously over weeks to months and has five pathophysiologic stages.

It is prudent not to ignore symptoms such as polyarticular inflammation, morning stiffness, and constitutional signs like weight loss, fever, and/or fatigue.

Cardiovascular and respiratory disorders have the greatest impact, accounting for 58% of RA deaths.

[Reference: RA, Module A, Prevalence and Pathophysiology]


Tom RasmussenTom Rasmussen
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