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Autonomic symptoms are common and are associated with overall symptom burden and disease activity in primary Sjögren's syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Julia Newton, Dr James FrithORCiD, Danielle Powell, Dr Katie Hackett, Katharine Wilton, Dr Dennis LendremORCiD, Sheryl Mitchell, Professor Fai NgORCiD


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Objectives To determine the prevalence of autonomic dysfunction (dysautonomia) among patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome (PSS) and the relationships between dysautonomia and other clinical features of PSS. Methods Multicentre, prospective, cross-sectional study of a UK cohort of 317 patients with clinically well-characterised PSS. Symptoms of autonomic dysfunction were assessed using a validated instrument, the Composite Autonomic Symptom Scale (COMPASS). The data were compared with an age-and sex-matched cohort of 317 community controls. The relationships between symptoms of dysautonomia and various clinical features of PSS were analysed using regression analysis. Results COMPASS scores were significantly higher in patients with PSS than in age- and sex-matched community controls (median (IQR) 35.5 (20.9-46.0) vs 14.8 (4.4-30.2), p<0.0001). Nearly 55% of patients (vs 20% of community controls, p<0.0001) had a COMPASS score >32.5, a cut-off value indicative of autonomic dysfunction. Furthermore, the COMPASS total score correlated independently with EULAR Sjogren's Syndrome Patient Reported Index (a composite measure of the overall burden of symptoms experienced by patients with PSS) (beta=0.38, p<0.001) and disease activity measured using the EULAR Sjogren's Syndrome Disease Activity Index (beta=0.13, p<0.009). Conclusions Autonomic symptoms are common among patients with PSS and may contribute to the overall burden of symptoms and link with systemic disease activity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Newton JL, Frith J, Powell D, Hackett K, Wilton K, Bowman S, Price E, Pease C, Andrews J, Emery P, Hunter J, Gupta M, Vadivelu S, Giles I, Isenberg D, Lanyon P, Jones A, Regan M, Cooper A, Moots R, Sutcliffe N, Bombardieri M, Pitzalis C, McLaren J, Young-Min S, Dasgupta B, Griffiths B, Lendrem D, Mitchell S, Ng WF

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases

Year: 2012

Volume: 71

Issue: 12

Pages: 1973-1979

Print publication date: 01/12/2012

ISSN (print): 0003-4967

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2060

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201009


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Funder referenceFunder name
Medical Research Council, UK
British Sjogren's Syndrome Association
Newcastle University
G0800629Medical Research Council