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Rheumatologists in Southampton have devised an examination schedule sufficiently reproducible for community epidemiological research into soft tissue musculoskeletal disorders of the neck and upper limb. The lack of an agreed diagnostic classification system has held back previous research into these disorders. The repeatability for eliciting items in a physical examination was assessed and was generally good for each of the specific diagnoses (median κ coefficient of 0.66). The Southampton examination schedule could potentially be used as a diagnostic classification system in the community. (


R Carter


German immunologists have identified a typical clinical and serological phenotype of systemic lupas erythematosus (SLE) that has a high risk of poor outcome. Survival rate of SLE patients has increased in the past 40 years but mortality still remains about three times as high as in relevant controls. White German patients with SLE were followed up from 1985 to 1999 and five year survival was 96.6%. Common reasons for death were cardiovascular (37%) and infectious diseases (29%). The most important risk factors identified for poor outcome are male sex, advancing age, low creatinine clearance, nephritis, heart disease, and CNS disease. Identification of …

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