Rheumatoid arthritis

Research repeats 1964 paradox

Researchers say they have confirmed a paradox from a Lancet paper published in 1964 – that patients with RA and diabetes are less likely to have diabetic retinopathy.

The analysis of 256,331 medicare diabetes patients found the eye disease was less prevalent in people with RA compared to people without (13.7% vs 16.1%, P ≤ 0.01).

Writing in Rheumatology the authors from Wisconsin School of Medicine said patients with diabetes and RA were 28% less likely to have diabetic retinopathy and 4% more likely to receive an eye exam.

“These findings pose new questions regarding whether RA physiology or treatments protect against diabetic retinopathy and how intraocular factors vary in contrast to adverse vascular changes elsewhere,” they concluded.

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