Scleroderma and Lupus Health Study Claims No Environmental Link To Disease PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 January 2010 22:09
taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/h_de_c/3291978657/ via creative commonsThe Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has released the results of an investigation into the occurrence of scleroderma and lupus, two rare chronic diseases, in South Boston. The investigation found that the prevalence of scleroderma was indeed statistically significantly higher than expected among Caucasian females. No specific associations with environmental exposures were identified.

The study did confirm that a previous diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was associated with scleroderma and lupus among current and former South Boston residents. Further, the study also found that a family history of specific rheumatic diseases was significantly associated with a diagnosis of scleroderma and lupus.

The Department of Public Health's study was initiated in 1998, as a result of concerns raised by the South Boston community and then-State Senator Stephen F. Lynch, who now represents Massachusetts' 9th congressional district. At that time, the community expressed concerns about a perceived increase in the number of women who had grown up in South Boston and were later diagnosed with scleroderma. Community members also expressed concern about possible environmental exposure.

"The release of this study represents more than ten years of collaboration between the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the South Boston community to address concerns of the prevalence of scleroderma and lupus," Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said. "I am pleased to see that this study has been completed and the results will guide future research and help those living with these chronic diseases."

DPH Commissioner John Auerbach added, "These types of studies are important and enhance our collaboration with community partners to improve public health."

DPH responded to the communities’ concerns by collaborating with clinical researchers and epidemiologists at Boston Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center and the South Boston Community Health Center to conduct a retrospective case-control study to investigate the occurrences of both diseases and to identify possible contributing factors (environmental and non-environmental) among individuals with scleroderma and lupus. In addition, DPH established a South Boston Community Advisory Committee to facilitate community outreach and ongoing communication.

Study participants were interviewed about their residential, occupational, medical, family and reproductive histories, as well as hobbies and recreational activities in the area. The study also investigated possible historical exposures to a number of sources of environmental pollution, as well as spatial and temporal (time) patterns among current and former residents with these diseases.

Source: Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS)

If you're logged in, you can download a copy of the report, presentation, and questions and answers below.

 
More articles :

» New Promising Therapy Against Systemic Sclerosis

There is a new path to defeat systemic sclerosis, also called because of the hardening of the skin of the patients (from Greek skleros, "hard", and derma, "skin"). This path involves the B-cell of the immune system, so far only considered "innocent...

» Children Get Scleroderma Too

Juvenile is a rare childhood condition characterized by fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. Clinical manifestations of childhood Scleroderma are different from adult disease and early recognition, correct classification and treatment can...

» How To Know If Your Body Is Acidic?

It can be really crucial to remember that the are normally based on the quantity of acids we have in our body. These signs and symptoms are grouped according to it order of severity. Much less severe symptoms may well indicate that you simply are...

» Clinical Manifestations of Heart Disease In Autoimmune Disorders

Dr. Lawrence Phillips is the Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology and Director of Nuclear Cardiology at the . At the recently concluded , Dr. Phillips presented on the clinical manifestations of heart diseases in autoimmune...

» Oral Health of Chinese People with Systemic Sclerosis

Clive M. K. Yeung; Ian A. Lai; C. H. Chu; W. Keung Leung; Mo Yin MokThe University of Hong KongReceived: 22 July 2010 / Accepted: 28 September 2010 / Published online: 12 October 2010Scleroderma is a symptom of a group of diseases that involve the...

» Immune Therapy Developed for Atherosclerosis

is when plaque builds up in the arteries; and it can cause serious problems in the heart. However new strategies are helping patients combat atherosclerosis; and could change the treatment landscape of heart disease, all together.It was in the...