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 :

» Report on the 2010 Systemic Sclerosis World Congress

Robert J. Riggs, CEO of the recently reported on his experience at the recently concluded , held in Florence, Italy. Here's a brief excerpt. In February, I attended the 1st World Congress on Systemic Sclerosis in Florence, Italy. The three-day...

» The Impact Of Art On Wellbeing In Autoimmune Disease

An innovative Newcastle research project is measuring the impact of creating art on the symptoms and overall wellbeing of people living with an autoimmune illness.A team at the University of Newcastle, in conjunction with the at John Hunter...

» Understanding More About Your Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsens with age. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.Osteoarthritis is...

» Study Suggests Systemic Sclerosis Is an Independent Risk Factor for Atherosclerosis

A new study by researchers in Hong Kong suggests that is an independent determinant for moderate to severe coronary calcification or . Conventional cardiovascular risk factors such as age and hypertension predispose patients with systemic sclerosis...

» Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma)

Panayiotis G. Vlachoyiannopoulos1November 2001Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune systemic disease characterized by small vessel involvement that leads to tissue ischemia and fibroblast stimulation resulting in accumulation of collagen...

» Our Donors

The Scleroderma Care Foundation wishes to express our appreciation and gratitude for the generosity and support extended to us, by all of our donors to date, and the list keeps on growing. Your contributions have all been incredibly helpful and...