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Treatment of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in a population-based cohort

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A population-based cohort was utilized to evaluate medications and intra-articular injection utilization for patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) to inform clinical practice and further research. In a geographically defined population, all incident cases of JIA cases were identified between January 1, 1994 and December 31, 2013 based first on diagnosis code followed by medical chart confirmation. Medications and intra-articular glucocorticoid injections were abstracted. Predictors of the first disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD)/biologic and injections were reported as a hazard ratio (HR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) adjusted for age and sex. Kaplan-Meier methods evaluated therapy at 6 months and 1 year. Injections were reported per 100 person-years (py) with 95 % CI using the Poisson methods. Seventy-one incident cases were identified. Forty-two (59 %) were female with mean age (standard deviation) at diagnosis of 8.2 (5.3) years. Twenty-six (37 %) utilized at least one DMARD or biologic, in which 77 % of these were prescribed in the first 6 months. Subtype of JIA was significantly associated with DMARDs/biologics (p < 0.001). Intra-articular injections were performed in 48 %. The rate of intra-articular injections was 20.7 per 100 py (95 % CI 16.5, 25.6). The rate of joint injections was higher in the first year after diagnosis (p < 0.001) and more common in recent years (p < 0.001). The majority of patients with JIA in a modern population-based cohort do not require DMARDs or biologics. In those who do, the majority receives these within the first 6 months. Intra-articular injections were utilized in almost half of patients with JIA and were increasingly used.

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Juvenile idiopathic arthritis


Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug


Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


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Correspondence to Jorge A. Zamora-Legoff.

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This study was made possible using the resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project, which is supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01AG034676 and CTSA Grant Number UL1 TR000135 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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Zamora-Legoff, J.A., Krause, M.L., Crowson, C.S. et al. Treatment of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in a population-based cohort. Clin Rheumatol 35, 1493–1499 (2016).

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