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Medscape: Arthritis Risk Underestimated In Children With Down Syndrome

By Marcia Frellick

The prevalence of arthritis in children with Down syndrome is at least two times greater than previously reported, findings from a new study suggest, but the diagnosis is often missed or significantly delayed.

There are several reasons for this, including a lack of awareness on the part of clinicians and parents that children with Down syndrome can be at high risk for what's known as arthropathy of Down syndrome, said lead researcher Charlene Foley, PhD, from Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, Ireland.

In addition, children with Down syndrome have a tendency not to report their pain or to be slow to do so, she told Medscape Medical News.

"When it's not correctly diagnosed, we're going to have children with ongoing inflammation, which is going to lead to irreversible joint damage," she said during a news conference at the American College of Rheumatology 2019 Annual Meeting in Atlanta. "It is erosive and aggressive, so early recognition and starting treatment is really important."

A related study, presented during the same news conference, also showed that arthropathy of Down syndrome is under-recognized.

There was an 11.5-month delay from symptom onset to diagnosis, said study investigator Jordan Jones, DO, a pediatric rheumatologist at Children's Mercy Kansas City in Missouri.

"Our hope is to get musculoskeletal screening into the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for screening for these kids," he said.


Read the full story via Medscape

Learn more about the Down Syndrome Program at Children's Mercy