Several Factors Including Fibromyalgia Enhance Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Several Factors Including Fibromyalgia Enhance Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis
A research team lead by David Walsh of the University of Nottingham concluded that longstanding rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients can present with fibromyalgic symptoms and poorer mental health. The study, titled, "A cross sectional study of pain sensitivity, disease activity assessment, mental health and fibromyalgia status in rheumatoid arthritis," was published online in Arthritis Research & Therapy, and enrolled a total of 50 patients from a rheumatology clinic at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The patients were being treated with a regimen that included analgesics (69%), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and/or glucocorticoids. Pain is the primary reason RA patients seek rheumatologic care. Chronic joint inflammation leads to pain, but non-inflammatory processes may also contribute to increased pain sensitivity. In this study, over a 3-week period in 2013, patients (with RA, 76% female, mean age 60 years, 21% smokers) were administered different questionnaires to assess for pain. To assess inflammation and correlated pain, researchers used the 28-point disease activity score (DAS28). To assess other types of pa
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