Background Comorbidities are increasingly important when considering the management of patients with chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Such importance is not only due to the aging of our patients but also the recognized increased risk of some comorbidities such as cardiovascular diseases because of the disease itself or its treatment.
Objectives To propose a standardized way of reporting and detecting commonly observed comorbidities in chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
Methods Under the umbrella of EULAR, a task force was composed of rheumatologists, fellows, epidemiologists, health professionals and patients. Such task force had to define clearly the main objectives of this initiative including the target population, the selection of comorbidities to be adressed. the method to report and/or to detect and/or to prevent such comorbidities. The methodology used both a systematic literature research and a consensual approach.
Results The task force concluded the following:
– The target population is defined by patients suffering from chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis including psoriatic arthritis, connective tissue disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus, microcristalline polyarticular disease; the potential inclusion of polyarthrosis was discussed.
– The context is defined by the fact that the proposals would be used in daily practice by rheumatologists but also by health professionals such as nurses. A potential future proposal to be used by the patients (e.g. self-administered comorbidity questionnaire) was discussed.
– The selected comorbidities are cardiovascular diseases, malignancies, infections, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal diseases and depression.
– For each comorbidity, the following items were proposed: How to report a specific comorbidity? (e.g. breast cancer), how to detect a specific comorbidity? (e.g. mammography for breast cancer), how to prevent such comorbidity?(e.g. hypertension for cardiovascular disease).
– The final proposals are presented in a such a way that they will be easily implemented in daily practice.
Conclusion Such initiative should facilitate the standardization and therefore should improve the management of comorbidities in patients suffering from chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
Disclosure of Interest None declared