impact factor

Clinical aspects


African American race associated with body image dissatisfaction among patients with systemic sclerosis

1, 2, 3


  1. New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.
  2. Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.
  3. Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.

2016 Vol.34, N°5 ,Suppl.100
PI 0070, PF 0073
Clinical aspects

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PMID: 27192123 [PubMed]

Received: 07/01/2016
Accepted : 04/04/2016
In Press: 10/05/2016
Published: 13/10/2016


Studies have shown a high degree of body image dissatisfaction among patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). We aimed to identify demographic and phenotypic characteristics that correlate with body image dissatisfaction.
Ninety-eight patients with SSc were recruited from Georgetown University Medical Center 2003-2004. Anonymous surveys collected demographic information (age, race, gender, duration/type of SSc) and assessed degree of body image dissatisfaction on a scale of 0-3 in relation to phenotypic features of SSc (hand contractures, finger ulcers, pigmentation changes, lip wrinkling/thinning, telangiectasias). A composite total distress score was derived. Parametric and nonparametric T tests were used to compare groups.
Of 98 patients, 86 were female and 12 male. The majority of patients were 30-60 years old. The sample was 62% Caucasian, 27% African American, and the rest identified as “other”. Twenty-seven percent had limited SSc, 48% diffuse, and 25% “other”. African American patients had greater total body image dissatisfaction (p=0.002), specifically with respect to digital ulcers, pruritus, and pigmentation changes, than Caucasian participants. Patients with diffuse SSc had greater body image dissatisfaction than those with limited disease (p=0.002).
Our results suggest that African American patients with SSc and those with diffuse subtype suffer a higher degree of body image dissatisfaction. Screening for and addressing this issue in SSc patients is prudent. Further study is needed to understand racial differences in body image dissatisfaction among patients with SSc.

Rheumatology Article