Objective: Health disparities in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) remain poorly understood. Social disadvantage may have a cumulative impact on health, with recent analyses using combined scoring systems to measure their impact on outcomes. Our aim was to investigate cumulative social disadvantage on childhood arthritis by using a cumulative score to analyze its association with arthritis among a nationally representative sample of children.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of the National Survey of Children's Health (2016-2019) was performed. A cumulative social disadvantage score was generated (1 point each, with a maximum score of 4): low guardian education (high school or less), low household income level (0-199% of federal poverty level), underinsured status (public or uninsured), and high adverse childhood experience (ACE) score (≥4). Univariate and multivariable (adjusting for age, sex, and race and ethnicity) logistic regression models were used to measure the association between cumulative social risk and the odds of an arthritis diagnosis and moderate-to-severe parent-reported arthritis severity.
Results: Of 131,774 surveys completed, a total of 365 children reported current arthritis. Cumulative social disadvantage was associated with an arthritis diagnosis, with the highest odds among those with a score of 4 (adjusted odds ratio [ORadj ] 12.4 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 2.9-53.3]). Cumulative social disadvantage also was associated with increased odds of moderate-to-severe arthritis severity (ORadj 12.4 [95% CI 1.8-82.6]).
Conclusion: In this nationally representative sample, accumulated social disadvantage, measured via a cumulative social disadvantage score based on income level, guardian education, insurance status, and ACE exposure, was associated with an arthritis diagnosis and moderate-to-severe arthritis severity.
© 2022 American College of Rheumatology.