Background Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) has been cited as the commonest inflammatory rheumatological disorder in the over 50s with a life time prevalence of 2.4% in females & 1.7% in males1. In addition it is one of the most frequent indications for long term steroid treatment. Despite this there appears to be a relative dearth of research into PMR compared to other inflammatory conditions such as gout (prevalence 1.4%2), rheumatoid arthritis (RA, prevalence 1%3) or psoriatic arthritis (PsA, prevalence 0.2%4).
Objectives To compare the number of presentations (oral or poster) relating to PMR with the number relating to PsA, gout and RA at the EULAR Congress and the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) from 2010-2012.
Methods Automated electronic searches of the EULAR Abstract Archive and the online BSR abstract book were conducted for the terms (“Polymyalgia Rheumatica” OR “PMR”), “Psoriatic Arthritis”, “Gout” and (“Rheumatoid arthritis” OR “RA”) in the titles of all oral and poster presentations for each of the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Results Over the three year period, at the EULAR Congress 52 presentations with PMR in the title were identified. Over the same period, there were 148 presentations relating to gout, 287 relating to PsA, and 2513 relating to RA at this meeting. This corresponds to 2.8 gout, 5.5 PsA and 48.3 RA presentations for every PMR presentation. Similarly, over this period at the BSR, there were 7 presentations on PMR compared to 19 on gout, 40 on PsA and 301 on RA. This equates to 2.7 gout presentations, 5.7 PsA presentations and 43.0 RA presentations per PMR presentation.
Conclusions There is a striking under-representation of PMR at both the EULAR Congress and the BSR, relative to the prevalence of this condition. This is particularly marked when compared to psoriatic arthritis, which may reflect the perceived severity of the condition or indeed the likelihood of the disease being managed in secondary care. Overall, there is a striking mismatch between the prevalence of disease and frequency with which research findings are presented at international rheumatology conferences.
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Gibofsky A. Overview of epidemiology, pathophysiology, and diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Am J Manag Care. 2012;18(13 Suppl):s295-302.
Ogdie A, et al. Prevalence and treatment patterns of psoriatic arthritis in the UK. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2012 Dec 7. [Epub]
Disclosure of Interest None Declared