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J Rheumatol. 1991 May;18(5):654-60.

Marital status in rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic disorders: a study of 7,293 patients.

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Department of Nursing, Wichita State University, KS 67208.


Divorce has been considered to be increased in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), perhaps as a result of the stress of serious chronic illness. We studied marital status in 7,293 consecutive rheumatic disease patients attending an outpatient rheumatic disease clinic. Divorce was associated with age, sex, population size, and ethnic origin, but when these factors were controlled for, divorce was not more common in the 1,267 patients with RA. Age and sex adjusted divorce percentages for RA and non-RA patients were 6.9 and 6.8 compared with a U.S. percentage of 7.6. Patients with RA, however, were almost 5 times less likely to be remarried after divorce than patients with osteoarthritis.

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