If your rheumatoid arthritis is not in remission?

If your rheumatoid arthritis is not in remission?

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By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

I was recently in a meeting of 7 rheumatologists. The majority were Generation X-ers. The conversation turned to remission in rheumatoid arthritis.

We remarked that remission was now achievable in up to 70% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as long as they presented very early in the disease (link).

Up to 70%!

A decade ago, this sort of remission rate would be unheard of. There really has been a fundamental change in how we need to approach rheumatoid arthritis.

Of course, I do understand that there are many barriers in the non-clinical trial, real world, which could prevent us achieving such results. Some barriers deal with access to rheumatology care, other barriers involve patient preference, and some barriers involve the treating rheumatologist's resolve.

One of the more vocal rheumatologists at that meeting suggested that if patients with rheumatoid arthritis were not in remission (or at least, in a state with low disease activity), that they should be challenging their treating rheumatologist as to WHY.

Is he correct?

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
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