One type of arthritis commonly misdiagnosed as another

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2019 | Failure To Diagnose |

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, people who have polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis have a higher prevalence of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors than those who have rheumatoid arthritis. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis affects the joints of a person beginning at a young age. Like rheumatoid arthritis, it is an inflammatory disease. Because of the similarities between the two conditions, people in Iowa may be misdiagnosed if they have pJIA.

Between 37% and 60% of people who have JIA as children are estimated to have it when they become adults, but they are likely to be misdiagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at that point because they are likely to transition to a rheumatology clinic. The adverse effects of misdiagnosis can include flawed recommendations for treatment. Researchers from the College of Medicine at Penn State University looked for characteristics of pJIA that distinguish it from rheumatoid arthritis.

They examined and followed 45 patients who had pJIA and 94 who had rheumatoid arthritis from January 2013 to June 2015. They found that adults who had pJIA were significantly younger on average, at 27.4 years old, than those who had rheumatoid arthritis, who averaged 56.1 years old. Most of the patients in both groups were female. Those who had pJIA had a longer duration of the disease, with a mean of 20.6 years duration, compared to 11.1 years mean duration among the rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Misdiagnoses by doctors and other medical professionals can lead to harm among patients and may constitute medical malpractice under Iowa law. An attorney might be able to help injured parties by examining the facts of the case and conducting witness interviews to prepare for trial. An attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement between at-fault parties and their insurers. In cases that cannot be settled, an attorney might draft and file a complaint for relief in court.