Cancer screening rates in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: No different than the general population
Arthritis & Rheumatism, 07/11/2012
Kim SC et al. – Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) did not appear to be at risk for receiving fewer cancer screening tests than non–RA patients. The majority of both RA and non–RA patients were regularly screened for cervical, breast, and colon cancer as recommended. Methods
- Using data from a large US commercial insurance plan, the authors examined rates of screening tests for cervical, breast and colon cancer in patients with RA compared with non–RA. RA was defined as ≥ 2 diagnoses of RA and ≥ 1 prescription for a disease–modifying anti–rheumatic drug.
- Multivariable Cox models compared cancer screening test rates between RA and non–RA patients.
- Both RA (n=13,314) and non–RA (n=212,324) patients were screened, on average, once every 3 years for cervical cancer and once every two years for breast cancer during the follow–up (mean: 2.3 years).
- In the age–adjusted Cox regression model, women with RA were more likely to receive ≥ 1 Papanicolaou smear (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.17–1.24), mammogram (HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.45–1.53), and colonoscopy (HR 1.69, 95% CI 1.61–1.77) compared to non–RA.
- Men with RA, were also more likely to receive a colonoscopy (HR 1.52, 95% CI 1.40–1.64) than non–RA patients.
- The results were robust in multivariable analyses adjusted for age, physician visit numbers, percent of visits made to primary care physicians and comorbidity index.