New Zealand Research

Management of scleroderma at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland:

In 2007 Kristine Ng and Peter Gow published their audit of screening of 49 scleroderma patients at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland. For investigations for scleroderma lung disease 71% had lung function tests, 69% a chest x-ray and 59% high resolution chest CT scan.

To assess for pulmonary arterial hypertension 47% had an echocardiogram. To screen for renal involvement 80% had blood pressure measurements, 41% urine dipstick analysis and 71% electrolyte. They concluded that scleroderma lung disease had been poorly screened for. Most of the patients did not have the recommended annual screening echocardiography.

Ng, K and Gow, P. Management of scleroderma in a New Zealand tertiary rheumatology centre: emphasis on pulmonary complications. The New Zealand Medical Journal. 2007; 120 (1254):18-26

Download as PDF (131KB)

Prevalence of Raynaud’s phenomenon in New Zealand

In 2009 Gordon and Dianne Purdie, together with Dr Andrew Harrison, published the results of their survey of Raynaud’s phenomenon.

They sampled 350 people from the electoral roll and 234 people responded (67%). 19% of females and 5% of males reported symptoms of Raynaud’s. These were people whose fingers had two different colour changes. The prevalence decreased with age. There was a higher prevalence in the warmer north of the country. People of Maori descent and in those in manual occupations had more severe symptoms. Among those reporting symptoms 11% had consulted a doctor. The researchers concluded that New Zealand has high rates of RP and that few people with RP consult medical practitioners about their symptoms.

Purdie, G, Harrison, A and Purdie, D. Prevalence of Raynaud’s phenomenon in the adult New Zealand population. The New Zealand Medical Journal. 2009; 122(1306):55-62

Download as PDF (123KB)

Review of Auckland Scleroderma patients

RJ Eason, PL Tan and PJ Gow from Middlemore Hospital in Auckland reviewed 47 scleroderma patients who were seen in Auckland in the 1970s.

The mean age of disease onset was 43 (with a range from 15 to 78), 74% were women. 87% of people had Raynaud’s phenomenon and it was the presenting symptom for 81%. 62% had oesophageal involvement, 30% pulmonary fibrosis, 17% pleural thickening, 21% cardiomyopathy, 13% pericarditis, 9% pulmonary hypertension and 15% renal involvement.

They reported the mean time from disease onset to various features of scleroderma. Survival rates from when patients meet diagnostic criteria were also reported.

Eason RJ, Tan PL, Gow PJ. Progressive systemic sclerosis in Auckland: a ten year review with emphasis on prognostic features. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine. 1981;11:657-62

Lower North Island and South Island scleroderma admissions.

Richard Wigley and Barry Borman reviewed hospital admissions for connective tissue diseases between 1950 and 1973 in the southern North Island and South Island.

Richard Wigley and Barry Borman reviewed hospital admissions for connective tissue diseases between 1950 and 1973 in the southern North Island and South Island.

They found an incidence of scleroderma of 2 per 1,000,000 per year. 66% of scleroderma patients had Raynaud’s phenomenon, 80% in the lower North Island and 57% in the South Island.

Wigley R and Borman B. Medical geography and the aetiology of the rare connective tissue diseases in New Zealand. Social Science & Medicine. 1980;14(2):175-183

The link below is to an abstract of the paper. The site charges for the full paper.