Longitudinal Analysis of the Patient Pathways to Diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis

Alexis Ogdie; Martin Rozycki; Theresa Arndt; Cheng Shi; Nina Kim; Peter Hur


Arthritis Res Ther. 2021;23(252) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: The occurrence of health events preceding a psoriatic arthritis (PsA) diagnosis may serve as predictors of diagnosis. We sought to assess patients' real-world experiences in obtaining a PsA diagnosis.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study analyzed MarketScan claims data from January 2006 to April 2019. Included were adult patients with ≥ 2 PsA diagnoses (ICD-9-CM/ICD-10-CM) ≥ 30 days apart with ≥ 6 years of continuous enrolment before PsA diagnosis. Controls were matched 2:1 to patients with PsA. Health events (diagnoses and provider types) were analyzed before PsA diagnosis and additionally stratified by presence of psoriasis.

Results: Of 13,661 patients, those with PsA had an increased history of coding for arthritis and dermatologic issues (osteoarthritis [48% vs 22%], rheumatoid arthritis [18% vs 2%], and psoriasis [61% vs 2%]) vs those without PsA. Diagnoses of arthritis, axial symptoms, and tendonitis/enthesitis increased over time preceding PsA diagnosis; notably, a sharp rise in psoriasis diagnoses was observed 6 months before PsA diagnosis. Rheumatology consults were more common immediately preceding a PsA diagnosis. Dermatologists were unlikely to code for arthritis and musculoskeletal issues, while rheumatologists were unlikely to code for psoriasis; general practitioners focused on axial and musculoskeletal symptoms. PsA was most commonly diagnosed by rheumatologists (40%), general practitioners (22%), and dermatologists (7%).

Conclusions: Rheumatologists, general practitioners, and dermatologists diagnosed two thirds of patients with PsA. Musculoskeletal symptoms were common preceding a PsA diagnosis. Greater awareness of patterns of health events may alert healthcare providers to suspect a diagnosis of PsA.