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Tinkering at the edges or collaborative symbiosis? Ethnicity and rheumatology: a consensual review discussion

It is recognised that the epidemiology of disease as well as ill-health manifestations in minority populationsmay be at variance from orthodox formulations generated through traditional research and as described in the western medical literature. The relevance of this lies in the need to devise strategies for optimising healthcare in minority groups, which, in the UK, is a duty that has been imposed upon providers through the passage of legislation. This paper examines the effect of ethnicity on three common rheumatological conditions, namely rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthropathy and osteoporosis, and concludes that a range of ethnicspecific issues have as yet failed to receive adequate attention in medical research, and, in addition, that there is a lacuna in comprehensive national strategies aimed at addressing health needs within this particular area. Approaches to remedying this deficiency are suggested based on information obtained through the lens of theme-specific workshops consisting of a mix of experienced healthcare professionals engaged in the care of individuals with rheumatological conditions. Multifaceted strategies need to be deployed to improve healthcare and tofurther the agenda of minority health issues in rheumatology.

Author(s): Ash Samanta, Mark RD Johnson, Shireen Shaffu, Sonia Panchal, Arumugam Moorthy, Waji Hassan, Kuntal Chakravarty, Kanta Kumar, Ira Pande, Aly Rashid, Ade Adebajo

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