Browse Health


Education ?

Medical School Score Rankings
New York University (1997)
Top 25%

Awards & Distinctions ?

American College of Rheumatology
American Board of Internal Medicine

Affiliations ?

Dr. Ferucci is affiliated with 3 hospitals.

Hospital Affiliations



  • Alaska Native Medical Center, Phs
    4315 Diplomacy Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508
  • Providence Alaska Medical Center
    PO Box 196604, Anchorage, AK 99519
  • Providence Extended Care Center
    4900 Eagle St, Anchorage, AK 99503
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. Ferucci has contributed to 15 publications.
    Title Azathioprine Metabolite Measurements Are Not Useful in Following Treatment of Autoimmune Hepatitis in Alaska Native and Other Non-caucasian People.
    Date February 2011
    Journal Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology = Journal Canadien De Gastroenterologie

    In autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) patients treated with azathioprine, the utility of measuring thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) and azathioprine metabolites has been limited.

    Title Tobacco Use Among Alaska Native People in the Earth Study.
    Date November 2010
    Journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research : Official Journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

    While aggregate rates of tobacco use for Alaska Native (AN) and American Indian people are high, use rates vary among populations and factors associated with use are not fully understood. For AN people living in three regions of Alaska, we present prevalence of tobacco use as well as factors associated with use.

    Title Associations Among Body Mass Index, Waist Circumference, and Health Indicators in American Indian and Alaska Native Adults.
    Date July 2010
    Journal American Journal of Health Promotion : Ajhp

    Little is known about obesity-related health issues among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) populations.

    Title Family Health History and Health Behaviors in Alaska Native and American Indian People.
    Date September 2009
    Journal Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

    Family history of diseases among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) people may influence health.

    Title Physical Activity Patterns of American Indian and Alaskan Native People Living in Alaska and the Southwestern United States.
    Date August 2009
    Journal American Journal of Health Promotion : Ajhp

    Assessment of self-reported physical activity (PA) and effects on health measures.

    Title Visual Impairment and Eye Care Among Alaska Native People.
    Date June 2009
    Journal Ophthalmic Epidemiology

    To estimate the prevalence of visual impairment, eye disease and eye care in the Alaska Native (AN) population, by demographic and socioeconomic factors.

    Title Metabolic Syndrome: Prevalence Among American Indian and Alaska Native People Living in the Southwestern United States and in Alaska.
    Date January 2009
    Journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders

    Metabolic syndrome occurs commonly in the United States. The purpose of this study was to measure the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among American Indian and Alaska Native people.

    Title Traditional Foods and Physical Activity Patterns and Associations with Cultural Factors in a Diverse Alaska Native Population.
    Date January 2009
    Journal International Journal of Circumpolar Health

    OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of traditional food and physical activity use and associations with cultural factors among 3,830 Alaska Native and American Indian (AN/AI) people enrolled in the Education and Research Towards Health (EARTH) Study in 3 regions of Alaska. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a cohort study. METHODS: Participants (2,323 women and 1,507 men) completed a computer-assisted self-administered questionnaire that included information on diet, physical activity, life-style and cultural factors. RESULTS: Over 92% of participants reported eating at least 1 traditional food in the past year. The top 3 traditional foods reported were fish, moose and agutaq (a mixture of berries and fat). The percentage of people who consumed traditional foods varied by region and age but not by sex (p < 0.01). Almost 70% of participants engaged in at least one traditional harvesting physical activity. Picking berries or greens, cutting/smoking fish or meat and fishing were the most common activities. Participation in traditional physical activity was highest in south-west Alaska and was higher among men than women, but did not differ by age (p < 0.01). Both traditional food and physical activity were associated with greater tribal self-identification, speaking a Native language at home, using traditional remedies and participating in or attending traditional events (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The EARTH Study found relationships between traditional food use, physical activities, cultural activities and behaviours. Consumption of a variety of traditional foods and participation in traditional physical activities remain an important part of the contemporary Alaska Native life-style. Efforts to promote and sustain these foods and activities in AN/AI populations may lead to improved health outcomes.

    Title Arthritis Prevalence and Associations in American Indian and Alaska Native People.
    Date September 2008
    Journal Arthritis and Rheumatism

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of arthritis and associations with arthritis in American Indian and Alaska Native populations. METHODS: Data on self-reported, doctor-diagnosed arthritis from the baseline visit of 9,968 American Indian and Alaska Native adults from Alaska and the Southwest US were included. The prevalence of arthritis and univariate and multivariate associations between arthritis and demographic characteristics, health-related factors, and treatment are described. RESULTS: The prevalence of self-reported arthritis increased with age. The age-sex adjusted prevalence was high in Alaska (26.1%) and low in the Southwest US (16.5%) as compared with the US population (21.5%). In both centers, arthritis was associated with age, lack of employment, chronic medical conditions, and poorer self-reported overall health. Arthritis was associated with female sex in Alaska only, whereas education, marital status, and urban residency were associated with arthritis in the Southwest US. In both centers, self-reported physical health measured by the Short Form 12 Health Survey was lower in people with arthritis, and mental health was not associated with arthritis. More frequent use of antiinflammatory medications was reported with arthritis in both centers, but increased use of traditional medicine and healers were associated with arthritis only in Alaska. CONCLUSION: Compared with US rates, the prevalence of self-reported arthritis was higher among Alaska Native people and lower in a Southwest American Indian population. Some factors associated with arthritis differ between the 2 populations.

    Title Resequencing of the Human Major Histocompatibility Complex in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Healthy Controls in Alaska Natives of Southeast Alaska.
    Date May 2008
    Journal Tissue Antigens

    High prevalence and severity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with an early age of onset have previously been described in Alaska Native and American Indian (AN/AI) populations. The contribution of HLA-DRB1 alleles encoding a similar amino acid sequence, referred to as the shared epitope (SE), to RA risk is well recognized in multiple populations worldwide. DRB1*1402 allele is the major SE-encoding allele in AN/AI populations. However, DRB1*1402 is highly prevalent in healthy Alaska Natives of Southeast Alaska (AN), with no significant difference from RA patients, indicating this allele alone is not informative for defining genetic risk and non-human leukocyte antigen (non-HLA) genes are likely important in AN. We sought to deep resequence the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) to characterize the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplotypes within this region in RA cases and controls in AN. Approximately 99 kb of the MHC was resequenced with 95 amplicons throughout this region. Thirty-four cases and 74 controls were examined. A total of 696 SNPs were discovered from 85 of the selected 95 amplicons. Disease association signals were detected for nine of the 95 amplicons analyzed. Increased risk of RA was associated with five amplicons in the class I, class II or class III region and resistance to disease with four amplicons in the class I region. Our results indicate that non-HLA MHC genes and/or unknown exogenous factors likely modulate risk of RA in the AN population.

    Title Rheumatoid Factor Seropositivity is Inversely Associated with Oral Contraceptive Use in Women Without Rheumatoid Arthritis.
    Date May 2007
    Journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases

    OBJECTIVES: To examine whether oral contraceptive use is associated with the presence of serum rheumatoid factor in women of reproductive age without rheumatoid arthritis. METHODS: 304 women selected from parents of children who were at increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes were studied, because they were enriched with the human leucocyte antigen-DR4 allele, a susceptibility marker for both type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Participants visited a clinic where blood was drawn for rheumatoid factor testing, and exposure data were collected via questionnaires. A medical history and joint examination were performed to rule out rheumatoid arthritis. Participants and examiners were unaware of the participants' rheumatoid factor status at the time of examination and questionnaire. RESULTS: Use of oral contraceptives at any time was inversely associated with rheumatoid factor positivity (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07 to 0.52) independent of age, education and smoking. Smoking > or = 20 pack-years was also associated with rheumatoid factor positivity (adjusted OR 56.38, 95% CI 4.31 to 736.98) compared with never smoking. Smoking 1-19 pack-years was not associated with a positive rheumatoid factor. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that oral contraceptive use, and possibly cigarette smoking, act early in the development of the immune dysregulation that occurs in rheumatoid arthritis.

    Title Rheumatoid Arthritis in American Indians and Alaska Natives: a Review of the Literature.
    Date June 2005
    Journal Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: An increased prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been reported in several American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. This article reviews the prevalence of RA in these populations, including clinical and serologic features. METHODS: References were taken from Medline through November 2003, in addition to the Arctic Health Literature Database and the American Indian and Alaska Native Health Bibliography. RESULTS: Published articles reveal an increased prevalence of RA in the Tlingit, Yakima, Pima, and Chippewa Indians. Clinically the disease in these groups is often severe, with early age of onset, high frequency of radiographic erosions, rheumatoid nodules, and positive rheumatoid factor. Studies of HLA alleles in cases and controls have found a high frequency of HLA DRB1*1402. CONCLUSIONS: The increased prevalence of RA and more severe disease in specific AI/AN populations suggest an important genetic influence on the development of RA in AI/AN populations. A high frequency of specific high-risk HLA alleles in these populations may account for some of the increased risk, but other genetic factors are likely to contribute. Environmental factors have not been studied in detail, but may also play an important role. RELEVANCE: Understanding the patterns and burden of disease in AI/AN populations may contribute to understanding the etiology of RA and to the development of preventive strategies.

    Title Antibodies Against Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Are Associated with Hla-dr4 in Simplex and Multiplex Polyarticular-onset Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
    Date February 2005
    Journal Arthritis and Rheumatism

    OBJECTIVE: Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies have been detected in patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), particularly in those with polyarticular, rheumatoid factor (RF)-positive JRA. Our objectives were to determine whether anti-CCP antibodies are associated with HLA-DR4 in children with polyarticular JRA, whether anti-CCP antibodies are associated with clinical features of disease, and whether affected sibling pairs (ASPs) with JRA are concordant for this antibody. METHODS: Stored serum samples obtained from 230 HLA-typed patients with JRA (77 with polyarticular-onset disease and 153 with pauciarticular- or systemic-onset disease), 100 JRA ASPs, and 688 healthy children were tested for anti-CCP antibodies and RF. RESULTS: Thirteen percent of the patients with polyarticular-onset JRA and 2% of the other JRA patients exhibited anti-CCP antibodies, compared with only 0.6% of the controls. Fifty-seven percent of RF-positive patients with polyarticular-onset JRA had anti-CCP antibodies. HLA-DR4-positive patients with polyarticular-onset JRA were more likely to have anti-CCP antibodies than were those without HLA-DR4 alleles (odds ratio [OR] 5.20, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.30-20.9). Anti-CCP antibodies were associated with polyarticular onset (OR 7.46, 95% CI 1.99-28.0), a polyarticular disease course (OR 9.78, 95% CI 1.25-76.7), and erosive disease (OR 14.3, 95% CI 3.01-67.9). Concordance rates for anti-CCP antibodies among ASPs were statistically significant. CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate increased anti-CCP antibody formation in HLA-DR4-positive patients with polyarticular-onset JRA. The overall prevalence of anti-CCP antibodies in JRA is low, but a substantial proportion of RF-positive patients with polyarticular-onset JRA have these antibodies. Anti-CCP antibodies in JRA are associated with polyarticular onset, a polyarticular course, and erosive disease.

    Title Prevalence and Predictors of Cancer Screening Among American Indian and Alaska Native People: the Earth Study.
    Journal Cancer Causes & Control : Ccc

    PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence rates for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancer screening among American Indian and Alaska Native people living in Alaska and in the Southwest US, and to investigate predictive factors associated with receiving each of the cancer screening tests. METHODS: We used the Education and Research Towards Health (EARTH) Study to measure self-reported cancer screening prevalence rates among 11,358 study participants enrolled in 2004-2007. We used prevalence odds ratios to examine demographic, lifestyle and medical factors associated with receiving age- and sex-appropriate cancer screening tests. RESULTS: The prevalence rates of all the screening tests were higher in Alaska than in the Southwest. Pap test in the past 3 years was reported by 75.1% of women in Alaska and 64.6% of women in the Southwest. Mammography in the past 2 years was reported by 64.6% of women aged 40 years and older in Alaska and 44.0% of those in the Southwest. Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years was reported by 41.1% of study participants aged 50 years and older in Alaska and by 11.7% of those in the Southwest US. Multivariate analysis found that location (Alaska versus the Southwest), higher educational status, income and the presence of one or more chronic medical condition predicted each of the three screening tests. Additional predictors of Pap test were age (women aged 25-39 years more likely to be screened than older or younger women), marital status (ever married more likely to be screened), and language spoken at home (speakers of American Indian Alaska Native language only less likely to be screened). Additional predictors of mammography were age (women aged 50 years and older were more likely to be screened than those aged 40-49 years), positive family history of breast cancer, use of smokeless tobacco (never users more likely to be screened), and urban/rural residency (urban residents more likely to be screened). Additional predictors of colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy were age (men and women aged 60 years and older slightly more likely to be screened than those aged 50-59 years), family history of any cancer, family history of colorectal cancer, former smoking, language spoken at home (speakers of American Indian Alaska Native language less likely to be screened), and urban/rural residence (urban residents more likely to be screened). CONCLUSION: Programs to improve screening among American Indian and Alaska Native people should include efforts to reach individuals of lower socioeconomic status and who do not have regular contact with the medical care system. Special attention should be made to identify and provide needed services to those who live in rural areas, and to those living in the Southwest US.

    Title Arthritis in Indigenous Populations: a Neglected Health Disparity.
    Journal The Journal of Rheumatology

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