Rheumatology International

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 657–665

Lag time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis in Venezuelan patients with rheumatoid arthritis

  • Elaudi Rodríguez-Polanco
  • Soham Al Snih
  • Yong-Fang Kuo
  • Alberto Millán
  • Martín A. Rodríguez
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00296-009-1358-9

Cite this article as:
Rodríguez-Polanco, E., Al Snih, S., Kuo, YF. et al. Rheumatol Int (2011) 31: 657. doi:10.1007/s00296-009-1358-9

Abstract

A retrospective study in a hospital-based sample of Venezuelan patients with rheumatoid arthritis was made to estimate the lag time between onset of symptoms, diagnosis, and initiation of DMARD treatment. Medical records and in-person interview of patients to fill in a questionnaire collecting information on demographics and initiation of symptoms, first consultation with any physician, time of diagnosis, and initiation of first disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug were reviewed. We performed descriptive statistics and multivariable linear regression analysis. Mean lag time between symptom onset and diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was 40.5 months (range 1–424). Mean lag time between onset of symptoms and first consultation with a physician and between first consultation and diagnosis was 16.3 and 23.9 months, respectively. Mean lag time between onset of symptoms and initiation of DMARD treatment was 56.9 months. A definitive diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was done by a rheumatologist in 251 patients (92.3%). First consultation with an orthopedist or a primary care physician, first consultation in a public versus a private health center, and diagnosis before 2000 were associated with longer lag time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis. Venezuelan patients with rheumatoid arthritis had a marked delay from disease onset to diagnosis and initiation of first DMARD. First consultation with an orthopedist and consultation in a public versus a private health center were the variables with the strongest effect on lag time to diagnosis and to initiation of first DMARD.

Keywords

HispanicRALag timesDiagnosis delay

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaudi Rodríguez-Polanco
    • 1
  • Soham Al Snih
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yong-Fang Kuo
    • 3
  • Alberto Millán
    • 1
  • Martín A. Rodríguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology, Centro Nacional de Enfermedades ReumáticasHospital Universitario de Caracas, Universidad Central de VenezuelaCaracasVenezuela
  2. 2.Division of Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Sealy Center on AgingUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA