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Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Lipid Screening Suboptimal in Patients with RA

Arthritis Care Res; ePub 2018 Nov 10; Navarro‐Millán, et al

Primary lipid screening was suboptimal among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a recent study. It was also lower than patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and minimally different from the general population. However, screening was higher for patients with RA receiving care from both a rheumatologist and a non‐rheumatologist (eg, primary care physician). Researchers analyzed claims data from US private and public health plans from 2006–2010. Eligibility requirements included: 1) continuous medical and pharmacy coverage for ≥12 months (baseline period), and 2) >2 physician diagnoses and relevant medications to define 4 disease categories: RA, DM, RA and DM, or neither condition. Among the 330,695 eligible participants (>half aged 41–71 years), researchers calculated the proportion with a lipid profile ordered during the 2 years following baseline. They found:

  • Among patients with RA (n=12,182), DM (n=62,834), RA and DM (n=1,082), and neither condition (n=167,811), the proportion screened for hyperlipidemia was 37%, 60%, 55%, and 41%, respectively.
  • Patients with RA who visited a rheumatologist and a non‐rheumatology clinician during follow‐up had a 55% higher screening probability than those who only visited a rheumatologist.


Navarro‐Millán I, Yang S, Chen L, et al. Screening of hyperlipidemia among patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the United States. [Published online ahead of print November 10, 2018]. Arthritis Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23810.

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