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Publication Detail
A systematic review exploring the bidirectional relationship between puberty and autoimmune rheumatic diseases
  • Publication Type:
    Working discussion paper
  • Authors:
    Gruijter ND, Naja M, Peckham H, Radziszewska A, Kinsella M, Glenister J, Rosser E, Butler G, Jury E, Ciurtin C
  • Publication date:
  • Status:
Abstract Background: Autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs) are associated with a significant sex-bias which becomes more evident post-puberty. This systematic review aims to elucidate the bidirectional relationship between puberty and ARDs related outcomes. Methods: Studies published in English until October 2019 were identified using a systematic search of endocrinology and rheumatology literature. Information was extracted on study design, sample size, demographics, puberty outcome measures, and main findings. The methodological quality of the studies included was analysed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). Results: 14 non-randomised studies reporting on the impact of puberty on ARD outcomes ( n  = 7), ARD impact on puberty-related outcomes ( n  = 6), or both ( n = 1 ) have been identified. The impact of puberty on ARD outcomes have been investigated in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis (n = 1), juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) (n = 5) or in healthy controls who developed adult-onset SLE (n = 1) or had non-specific symptoms (n = 1). The impact of ARD on puberty outcomes was explored in JIA (n = 4) and JSLE (n = 3). Quality assessment of studies showed a small to moderate risk of bias overall (NOS 4–9/9). Due to large heterogeneity of the studies it was not possible to perform a meta-analysis. Multiple studies reported on delayed puberty in patients with JIA/JSLE, menstrual and hormonal abnormalities, and lower height and weight than controls. Earlier (pre-pubertal) onset of JSLE was correlated with more severe disease and more need for systemic treatment. Conclusion: A bidirectional relationship exists between puberty and ARDs; however, more and better research is required to elucidate the complexity of this relationship. We propose puberty-related clinical assessments in patients with ARDs, which can improve patient outcomes and facilitate future research.
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