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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2002 Jan;41(1):22-6.

Outcome in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myositis: morbidity and mortality.

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Centre for Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University College Hospital, London W1P 9PG, UK.



To assess the long-term outcome of a cohort of 46 patients with idiopathic myositis by assessing both health status, as measured by the SF-36, and cumulative survival probability over a 20-yr follow-up period at a single rheumatology centre. Methods and results. Forty-six patients under long-term follow-up from 1978 to 1999 were identified from our database. All patients fulfilled three out of four of the Bohan and Peter criteria for myositis. We excluded those with malignancy-associated disease and those with inclusion body myositis. Twenty-three patients (50%) had adult-onset polymyositis, 14 (30.4%) had adult-onset dermatomyositis, one had childhood-onset dermatomyositis and eight (17.4%) had an overlap syndrome (associated with either systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis). During the course of the disease, seven patients (15.2%) went into full remission, eight (17.4%) had monophasic illness, nine (19.6%) had a relapsing-remitting course, 16 (34.8%) had chronic progressive illness and six (13.04%) died. All patients had significantly lower SF-36 scores in all aspects of health compared with the general population (P< or =0.001). Patients with chronic progressive illness had significantly greater bodily pain (P< or =0.05, t-test) than those with a relapsing-remitting illness, but did not differ in other aspects of health. There was no significant difference in the scores in the different domains of the SF-36 between the patients with active disease and those with inactive disease (0.05<P<0.1). Six of the 46 patients died. Cumulative survival probability was calculated. The five-year survival rate was 95% and the 10-yr survival rate 83.8%.


Patients with myositis report significantly poorer health compared with the general population. Health status and disease activity are important outcome measures in the assessment of patients with myositis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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