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 :

» Scleroderma Renal Crisis: A Pathology Perspective

Ibrahim Batal, Robyn T. Domsic, Thomas A.Medsger Jr., and Sheldon BastackyInternational Journal of RheumatologyVolume 2010, Article ID 543704Scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) is an infrequent but serious complication of systemic sclerosis (SSc). It is...

» New Site For Adult Stem Cell Resources Launched

A new website is detailing success stories in adult stem cell research. is part of a campaign to educate and spread awareness about the potentials and successes of adult stem cell therapies, and was created by the Family Research Council and...

» CREST Syndrome

Those with often have all or some of the symptoms that some doctors call CREST, which can be characterized by the following: Calcinosis Cutis: is the term used to describe a group of disorders in which calcium deposits form within connective...

» Grant To Fund Study Of Possible Links Between Water Pollution, Disease

Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute scientists have been awarded a $997,000 grant to study the relationship between a common pollutant in water systems and the increase in autoimmune disease. The award was announced yesterday by the...

» Management

Our Management Team or Executive Committee is presently responsible for the daily operations of the Scleroderma Care Foundation, realizing its vision, and similarly ensuring its growth and future success. Adelwyn Holder, Co-Founder &...

» January 26th Lunch & Learn Event on Sjogren’s Syndrome

For those of you in the state of Texas, Northwest Rheumatology, a division of Northwest Diagnostic Clinic, will host a free Lunch & Learn event on Sjogren’s Sydrome: The Forgotten Disease on Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the...

Add comment

Do feel free to leave your comments, as they would add value and knowledge to the community. However, please refrain from making any disparaging, uninformed, or unrelated comments. Thanks :)

Security code
Refresh

Login



Wise Words

"Happiness can only be found if you free yourself from all other distractions"
Saul Bellow

"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right"
Isaac Asimov

"Before someone's tomorrow has been taken away, cherish those you love, appreciate them today"
Michelle C. Ustaszeski