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Risks Resulting From Treatment For Osteoarthritis Accepted By Patients

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So long as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMOADs) continue to offer health benefits, osteoarthritis patients are willing to take them to treat the disease, without concern for the possible health risks associated with the treatment, reveals a new study, as summarised by Arthritis Research UK.

DMOADs, like methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine, are currently used as treatment options for osteoarthritis. To test and summarise patients´ attitudes towards these treatments, researchers conducted a survey among a randomly picked group of 304 patients who attended both general medicine and specialised clinics.

The patients were asked which way they would prefer to treat osteoarthritis of the knee; as each treatment option was introduced, it came with an assessment of the risks, benefits, cost and method of administration, which participants had to assess before making a choice.

Over half of the participants (59.2%) chose to receive DMOADs, despite the benefit-risk ratio. One fifth (20%) were willing to do the same, but only if the therapy was pill-based, cheap, and had proven benefits and lower risks. Another 16.4%, however, said they would reject such treatments, regardless of circumstances, while 5% were put off by the option to administer the treatment via a subcutaneous injection.

These results led researchers to conclude that a significant part of the population would rather accept some health risk than deal with worsening knee osteoarthritis. The study was conducted by the Yale University School of Medicine and VA Connecticut Healthcare System in the USA, together with the University of Toronto and McMaster University in Canada.