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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2008 Sep-Oct;26(5 Suppl 51):S35-61.

Mortality in rheumatoid arthritis: 2008 update.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Jyväskylä Central Hospital, Jyväskylä, Finland.


Mortality rates in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are 1.5-1.6 fold higher than in the general population, with similar patterns over 60 years. The acute attributed causes of death appear overall similar to the general population, with cardiovascular disease the most common attributed cause of death, and with more infection, pulmonary and renal disease in RA than in the general population. All clinical measures indicating more severe clinical status appear prognostic of premature mortality, with rheumatoid factor and the shared epitope significant for progressive RA. Functional and global measures as well as comorbidities generally are the most significant predictors of premature death.

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