At this year’s annual EULAR 2017 annual congress, attendees learned about the need for increased collaboration between adult and paediatric rheumatologists to improve outcomes of adults living with active juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
According to conclusions from a review of more than 50 studies and approximately 3,000 JIA patients, half of adults living with JIA were not receiving adequate treatment, despite the fact that biological have been shown to improve the quality of life in children with JIA, with most of these benefits of treatment in childhood persisting into adulthood.
Presenting the results of her study, Dr. Berit Flato from the rheumatology department at Oslo University Hospital said: “Since 2000, biological and methotrexate have been prescribed earlier in JIA, resulting in increased rates of inactive disease after 1-3 years. Yet, recent reports indicate that only half of adult patients with JIA are on synthetic or biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARDs).
The inadequate treatment identified in the study partly explains why adults with JIA often experience more pain, poorer health-related quality of life, and lower employment rates.
ACE Founder and President, Chery Koehn, related the study results to the Canadian environment: “The reasons why many adult patients with JIA in Canada fall through this treatment gaps are many. A large factor is the transition of children with JIA from paediatric care to adult care, which often is not as smooth as it should be.”
JIA affects approximately 24,000 children and teens in Canada, making it one of the most common causes of chronic disability in children. JIA can be devastating and comes with high financial, family and societal burdens. Approximately 60% of children will have active disease into childhood. For more information about JIA, please visit Cassie and Friends, the only charity in Canada dedicated 100# to the paediatric rheumatic disease community (Cassie & Friends).