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Gastrointestinal (GI) involvement is almost universal in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and is associated with significant disease-related morbidity and mortality.1 The entire GI tract can be involved and other disease features (eg, low mood, terminal organ failure and functional hand impairment) can result in significant nutritional impairment. Severe GI involvement has been reported to occur in ~10% of patients with SSc and often occurs early in the course of the disease.2 However, identification of patients at high risk of clinically significant weight loss is extremely challenging, including from the high prevalence of GI symptoms in patients with SSc. Therefore, there is a need to understand high-risk patients including potentially modifiable risk factors, with a view to early intervention strategies. Against this background, the aim of this study was to examine potential clinical risk factors of significant weight loss in patients with SSc.
We performed an analysis of patients with SSc enrolled in the multinational, longitudinal European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Scleroderma Trials and Research (EUSTAR) database. In our study, we defined significant weight loss as 4.5 kg and/or least 5% of their body weight at 5 months onwards.3 Patients with a recorded second visit after 3 months and before 12 months were included in the analysis. We adopted a pragmatic approach (relevant to clinical practice) in …
Handling editor Josef S Smolen
Collaborators EUSTAR Collaborators: Andrea Doria, Lorenzo Baretta, Alexandra Balbir-Gurman, Patricia E Carreira, Vanessa Smith, Carlos Alberto, von Mühlen, Jörg Distler, Ulf Müller-Ladner, Lidia P Ananieva, László Czirják, Jörg Henes, Jeska de Vries-Bouwstra, Mengtao Li, Fabian Mendoza, Nemanja Damjanov, Ivan Castellví, Alessandro Giollo, Stefan Heitmann, Edoardo Rosato, Lorenzo Dagna, Christopher P Denton, Marie Vanthuyne, Fabio Cacciapaglia, Valeria Riccieri, Nicolas Hunzelmann, Ami Shah, Carlomaurizio Montecucco, Raffaele Pellerito, Ruxandra Maria Ionescu, Simona Rednic, Ulrich Walker, Maria Rosa Pozzi, Anna-Maria Hoffmann-Vold, Marie-Elise Truchetet, Susanne Ullman, Carolina de Souza Müller, Juan Jose Alegre-Sancho, Eduardo Kerzberg, Francesco Del Galdo, Gabriela Riemekasten, Branimir Anic, Marko Baresic, Miroslav Mayer, Fahrettin Oksel, Figen Yargucu, Ellen De Langhe, Ina Kötter, Mohammed Tikly, Radim Becvar, Douglas Veale, Dorota Krasowska, Andrea Lo Monaco, Lidia Rudnicka, Ana Maria Gheorghiu, Piercarlo Sarzi Puttini, Mislav Radic, Armando Gabrielli, Maria João Salvador, Carlos de la Puente, Gabriela Szücs, Sule Yavuz, Rosario Foti, Otylia Kowal Bielecka, Codrina Ancuta, Peter Villiger, Sabine Adler, Patrick Jego, Michaela Kohm, Eugene J Kucharz, Dominique Farge Bancel, Tim Schmeiser, Alberto Cauli, Alessandra Vacca, Kamal Solanki, Piotr Wiland, Paloma García de la Peña Lefebvre, Jorge Juan Gonzalez Martin, Sergio Jimenez, Lesley Ann Saketkoo, Roger Hesselstrand, Francesca Ingegnoli, Jean Sibilia, Merete Engelhart, Esthela Loyo, Carmen Tineo, Francesco Paolo Cantatore, Brigitte Krummel-Lorenz, Petros Sfikakis, Cristiane Kayser, Vera Ortiz Santamaria, Bojana Stamenkovic, Giovanna Cuomo, Francesco Puppo, Thierry Zenone, Nihal Fathi, Ira Litinsky, Carlo Chizzolini, Monika Swacha, Washington Bianchi, Breno Valdetaro Bianchi, Maria Üprus, Kati Otsa, Masataka Kuwana, Panayiotis Vlachoyiannopoulos, Sarah Kahl, Bernard Coleiro, François Spertini, Walid Ahmed Abdel Atty Mohamed, Sergey Moiseev, Pavel Novikov, Dominik Majewski, Simon Stebbings, Svetlana Agachi, Massimiliano Limonta, Carlo Francesco Selmi, Elena Rezus, Kristine Herrmann, Brigitte Granel, Goda Seskute, Matthias Seidel, Paul Hasler, Vera Bernardino, Maurizio Cutolo, Carmen Pizzorni, Jadranka Morovic-Vergles, Daniel Furst, Ana-Maria Ramazan, Gianluigi Bajocchi, Lisa Stamp, Doron Rimar, Antonella Marcoccia, Srdan Novak, Luc Mouthon, Jiri Stork, Lorinda S Chung, Hadi Poormoghim, Francis Gaches, Laura Belloli, Cristina-Mihaela Tanaseanu, Fabiola Atzeni, Kilian Eyerich, ivien M Hsu, Jacob van Laar, Mary Ellen Csuka, Omer Nuri Pamuk, Maura Couto, Arsene Mekinian, Murat Inanc, Ivan Foeldvari, Julia Martínez-Barrio, Yair Levy, Juliana Markus, Susana Oliveira.
Contributors All authors made substantial contributions to the design, analysis and interpretation of this manuscript, have drafted/critically revised the work, are agreeable to be accountable for all aspects of the current work and have approved the final version.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting or dissemination plans of this research.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.