Background In front of ageing of the population, rheumatologists are more and more confronted with the coverage of elderly, particularly regarding rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The objective of the study was to evaluate the coverage in two populations of RA, one age of more than 65 years old and one of age less than 65 years old.
Methods This descriptive, transversal and retrospective study concerned patients followed in one university hospital and one hospital during the year 2008 for RA. Clinical, biological, radiological characteristics and treatments have been compared between the younger-onset RA and elderly-onset RA (begun after 65 years old), and on the other hand RA of younger patients and elderly patients (of 65 and more years old). Age, duration of the disease, disease activity score including a 28-joint count (DAS28), presence or not of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) and of rheumatoid factor, presence of X-Rays erosions, prescription of corticosteroids, disease modifying anti rheumatoid drugs (DMARD) or biotherapy.
Results 454 patients were included in the study. There was no statistically significant difference regarding either age of diagnosis or age. There was an higher DAS 28 among elderly patients (3.72 vs. 3.14, p≤0.05) compared to younger. Corticosteroids were significantly more prescribed in elderly patients (60.5% vs. 50.8%, p=0.05) than in younger patients and in elderly-onset RA (68% vs. 52%, p=0.005) compared to younger-onset RA. As regards to DMARDs, there was no difference in the prescription of DMARD in the 2 groups (p=0,326) but biotherapy was significantly less prescribed in elderly patients than in younger patients (21% vs. 35%, p=0,001) and in elderly-onset RA compared to younger-onset RA (10% vs. 32%, p=0.001).
Conclusions Even in elderly RA and elderly onset RA, corticosteroids are significantly more prescribed although biotherapy are less prescribed than in younger RA and younger onset RA.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared