African Americans Have More Severe Complications From Scleroderma PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 May 2012 20:56
African Americans have more severe complications from systemic sclerosis, also known as scleroderma, than Caucasians. Findings published today in, Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), show that compared with Caucasians, African-American patients were more likely to have antibodies that increased frequency and severity of pulmonary fibrosis, which is associated with decreased survival.

According to the ACR there are 49,000 adult American diagnosed with systemic sclerosis —an autoimmune disease where collagen build-ups in the skin and organs, causing the skin to harden, joint pain, breathing issues, and digestive problems. Medical evidence has confirmed that African Americans have an increased incidence and worse prognosis with systemic sclerosis than Caucasians. Previous research has shown that genetic differences among the races contribute to differences in auto-antibodies, which influence how the disease affects patients.

To understand how auto-antibodies affect systemic sclerosis in African-American and Caucasian patients, a research team led by Dr. Virginia Steen from Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, analyzed data from the Pittsburgh Scleroderma Database. This database includes demographic, clinical, autoantibody, organ involvement and survival information for 203 African-American and 2945 Caucasian scleroderma patients seen at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center between 1972 and 2007.

Findings show that African Americans had higher frequencies of certain scleroderma-specific autoantibodies compared to Caucasians: anti-U3-RNP (40% vs. 2%), U1-RNP (16% vs. 7%) and anti-topoisomerase (27% vs. 21%). Anti-topoisomerase auto-antibodies in scleroderma are associated with a higher incidence of pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs) and greater disease severity, and in this study, African-American patients with this antibody had more frequent and more severe fibrosis than the Caucasians with this antibody.

Pulmonary fibrosis was also more severe in African American patients with anti-U1 RNP auto-antibodies compared to Caucasian patients with this antibody but a difference in survival between the races was not apparent. Researchers determined that the auto-antibody anti-U3 RNP was linked to more severe gastrointestinal involvement in African Americans compared to Caucasians.

Pulmonary disease is the most common cause of scleroderma related deaths, and African-American race was independently associated with pulmonary fibrosis and African Americans are at greater risk for severe lung disease, which the authors suggest may be due to genetics or environmental factors. "Our findings confirm that more serious complications affect African Americans with system sclerosis than Caucasians," concludes Dr. Steen. "For African-American systemic sclerosis patients with severe lung disease, more aggressive treatment early on could improve their outcome."

Source: Peters, D. (2012), "Systemic sclerosis complications more severe in African Americans than Caucasians", Wiley-Blackwell; Original article can be viewed here
 
More articles :

» Anticentromere Antibody Positive Sjögren’s Syndrome: A Retrospective Descriptive Analysis

Introduction: A subgroup of patients with primary Sjögren’s Syndrome (SS) and positive anticentromere antibodies (ACA) were recognized as having features intermediate between SS and systemic sclerosis (SSc). Our goal was to describe this group...

» 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...

» Neutrophil Elastase Regulator Needed in Systemic Sclerosis

, which promotes and fibrosis, is suspected of playing a role in (SSc). Theresa C. Barnes, MD, from University of Liverpool, Aintree University Hospital, United Kingdom, and colleagues  of Rheumatology that the problem may not be too...

» Pulmonary Hypertension In Systemic Sclerosis

A.J. MacGregor, R. Canavan, C. Knight, C.P. Denton, J. Davar, J. Coghlan, and C.M. BlackPublished: 2001

» The Many Faces of Interleukin-6: The Role of IL-6 in Inflammation, Vasculopathy, and Fibrosis in Systemic Sclerosis

Theresa C. Barnes,Marina E. Anderson, and Robert J.MootsReceived 1 June 2011; Accepted 21 July 2011Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease characterised by fibrosis, vasculopathy, and immunological abnormalities. Over recent years,...

» UTHealth, Fudan University Launch Scleroderma Network

Scleroderma clinicians and researchers in the United States and China have launched an international network to fight this debilitating disease that affects more than one million people worldwide.The network was established by faculty at The...