Cervical screening uptake and rates of cervical dysplasia in the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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  • Authors:
  • BSRBR-RA Control Centre Consortium


OBJECTIVES: To compare cervical screening attendance and cytology (high- and low-grade cervical dysplasia [HGCD and LGCD]) between women with RA and the English general population and between biologic DMARD (bDMARD)-naïve and exposed women.

METHODS: The British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register for RA (BSRBR-RA), a national prospective study of RA treatment outcomes, was linked to the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme, providing data for 12 785 women to compare with national screening data. Rates of HGCD/LGCD were compared with rates of negative smears using risk difference calculations between BSRBR-RA and national statistics. Within the BSRBR-RA, coverage was compared between those with low and high physical disability scores, while coverage and cytology results were compared between bDMARD-naïve and -exposed RA patients.

RESULTS: The mean 5 year screening coverage was significantly higher in BSRBR-RA (83%) compared with the general population (79%), but lower in women with high disability (78%) compared with lesser disability (85%). Risk differences for HGCD were lower in the BSRBR-RA compared with national statistics, whereas risk differences for LGCD were higher. There was no statistically significant difference in the rates of HGCD or LGCD between bDMARD-exposed and -naïve women.

CONCLUSION: This first-ever British analysis of cervical screening rates in RA has shown that women with RA have higher screening rates than the general population. Disability negatively impacts attendance, but treatment type does not. Women with RA did not have an increased risk of HGCD compared with national statistics, which was also not influenced by bDMARD exposure.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalRheumatology (Oxford)
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019

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