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
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.
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.
- INCLUSION CRITERIA:
Subjects with known or suspected rheumatic disease.
Age greater than or equal to 18 years.
Willingness and capacity to provide informed consent.
Patients who cannot meet the inclusion criteria.