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Socioeconomic Status Plays A Role In Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

hat higher disease activity, more pain, and a lower level of well-being than children with private health insurance.

In addition, the Medicaid group had higher disability and a lower proportion of children with normal physical function, although they had similar access to health care services compared to the privately insured children. ‘Similar to results found in studies of other pediatric diseases, the results of this study support the theory that Medicaid status is associated with more disability and lower HRQOL, even in the absence of apparent differences in health care resource utilization,’ the authors state. They add that these differences are not only statistically significant, but clinically significant as well.

The reasons why insurance status is associated with disability and HRQOL in JRA is not clear, since health care resource utilization did not appear to be affected by the type of health insurance the children were using. The authors hypothesize that non-treatment-related factors such as poverty and non-adherence to prescribed treatments might account in part for the differences seen between the Medicaid versus the privately insured children.

‘We believe the current study is the first to document a clinically important association between patient insurance status and disease outcome in JRA,’ the authors conclude. Further studies are needed to determine the mechanisms that lead to the differences observed in the two groups, and to determine whether access to and utilization of health care resources are truly equitable in patients with different health insurance status.

Source: Eurekaert
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