EULAR Annual Congress
EULAR Annual Congress
July 29, 2015
1 min read

Functional status, fatigue remain stable over time in patients with systemic sclerosis

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Functional limitations and fatigue remained stable during the course of disease in patients with systemic sclerosis, according to recently published research.

Researchers studied 215 patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), 75.1% of whom had limited SSc. At baseline, patients had a mean age of 56.4 years; 67.9% were women, and mean disease duration was 9.2 years. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify two classes for functional disability and two classifications for fatigue. The Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI) was used to assess functional status, and the SF-36 vitality subscale was used to assess fatigue.

Based on disability level, a “stable-low” group of 133 patients with low baseline HAQ-DI scores was distinguished from a “stable-high” group of 82 patients with high disability scores at baseline. Slight, non-significant deterioration was observed during the 3-year study period.

A “stable-moderate” group of 99 patients was defined at baseline, and a “stable-severe” group of 116 patients was defined in relation to fatigue. In both groups, a slight decline that did not reach statistical significance was observed during the 3-year period. About one-third of the patients met criteria for both groups, according to the researchers.

The researchers found patients comprising the stable-high disability group were more likely to experience fatigue and disability and were more likely to be women. Patients in the stable-severe fatigue group were more likely to report lung involvement, more likely to be women and reported less disease acceptance.

An association between disability and fatigue subgroups was shown to be statistically significant, according to the researchers. – by Shirley Pulawski


Willems L, et al. Paper #SAT0641-HPR. Presented at: European League Against Rheumatism Annual European Congress of Rheumatology; June 10-13, 2015; Rome.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.