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Guidelines and recommendations developed and/or endorsed by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) are intended to provide guidance for particular patterns of practice and not to dictate the care of a particular patient. The ACR considers adherence to these guidelines and recommendations to be voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding their(More)
OBJECTIVE Although the systematic measurement of disease activity facilitates clinical decision making in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), no recommendations currently exist on which measures should be applied in clinical practice in the US. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) convened a Working Group (WG) to comprehensively evaluate the validity,(More)
OBJECTIVE Pneumonia is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study was undertaken to determine the rate and predictors of hospitalization for pneumonia and the extent to which specific RA treatments increase pneumonia risk. METHODS RA patients (n = 16,788) were assessed semiannually for 3.5 years. Pneumonia was(More)
OBJECTIVE 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25-OH-D) insufficiency/deficiency is increasingly prevalent and has been associated with many chronic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our purpose was to define the prevalence and associations of 25-OH-D insufficiency/deficiency in a cohort of US veterans with RA. METHODS vitamin D status (25-OH-D) was(More)
BACKGROUND Herpes zoster occurs more commonly in patients taking immunosuppressive medications, although the risk associated with different medications is poorly understood. METHODS We conducted a retrospective cohort study involving 20,357 patients who were followed in the Veterans Affairs healthcare system and treated for rheumatoid arthritis from(More)
OBJECTIVE To describe use of the American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism (ACR/EULAR) rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remission criteria in clinical practice. METHODS Remission was examined using data on 1,341 patients with RA (91% men) from the US Department of Veterans Affairs RA (VARA) registry (total of 9,700 visits) and 1,153(More)
Medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may confer an increased risk of infection. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of veterans with RA followed in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs health care system from October 1998 through September 2005. Risk of hospitalization for infection associated with tumor necrosis factor(More)
OBJECTIVE To investigate what factors influence patient global health assessment (PtGlobal), and how those factors and the reliability of PtGlobal affect the rate, reliability, and validity of recently published American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism (ACR/EULAR) rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remission criteria when used in clinical(More)
OBJECTIVES Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is an important complication of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or its treatment, and is associated with substantially increased mortality. Reports have suggested that infliximab with or without azathioprine might lead to rapidly progressive or fatal ILD. We used an RA data bank to assess the associations of treatments(More)
OBJECTIVE This study evaluates whether depression is a risk factor for incident myocardial infarction (MI) in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) between 30 and 79 years of age. METHODS We used a retrospective cohort study of 15,634 patients with RA. Diagnoses and sociodemographic data were obtained from VA(More)