Last updated on June 2020

Natural History of Rheumatic Diseases in Minority Communities

Brief description of study

This study will explore the causes of rheumatic diseases and why many of them affect certain minority communities more severely. Rheumatic diseases may cause joint pain, stiffness or swelling. Some can involve bones, muscles, tendons or ligaments. Some cause abnormalities of the immune system the body s defense against disease. Some rheumatic diseases are painful or deforming and some can be life threatening. Information obtained from this study will be used to learn about the disparities in rheumatic disease in the minority community and to design further, more targeted, research studies to address this issue.

Patients with known or suspected rheumatic disease 18 years of age or older may be eligible for this study. Candidates will undergo a medical history and physical examination to confirm the diagnosis of rheumatic disease and determine what is needed for evaluation and treatment.

Participants will receive standard medical care for rheumatic disease and arthritis. No experimental treatments, medications or procedures will be included in this study. Procedures may include routine blood tests for blood chemistries, cell counts, and antibodies commonly found in patients with rheumatic disease; a urine test for proteins and cells; and X-rays and other imaging tests to check for abnormalities in the lungs or other organs. All medical information will be kept confidential.

Patients who are found to be eligible for other current NIH research studies will be offered an opportunity to participate in these studies.

Detailed Study Description

This protocol will permit the evaluation and treatment of subjects who are members of the

minority community, for the purpose to facilitate understanding the pathogenesis and natural history of rheumatic diseases in this community. Patients will be evaluated with a history and physical examination and routine laboratory studies will be obtained as needed to assess diagnosis, disease activity, disease complications and to monitor for treatment related responses and toxicities. Patients eligible for other research protocols will be offered an opportunity to participate in these studies by signed informed consent. Any medical care recommended or provided to the patient will be consistent with routine standards of practice and will be provided in consultation with the patient s referring physician. All patients referred to this study must have a primary care provider provide a referral. The establishment of this protocol will provide a means to evaluate and treat patients from the minority community, and to generate hypotheses and protocols based on this clinical experience that will address questions of health disparities in the rheumatic diseases.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00024479

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