Send to

Choose Destination
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2016 Dec;68(12):1843-1848. doi: 10.1002/acr.22872. Epub 2016 Oct 1.

Epidemiology of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, 1985-2014: A Population-Based Study.

Author information

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.



To characterize the epidemiology of mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) from 1983 to 2014.


An inception cohort of patients with incident MCTD in 1985-2014 in Olmsted County, Minnesota was identified based on comprehensive individual medical record review. Diagnosis of MCTD required fulfillment of at least 1 of the 4 widely accepted diagnostic criteria without fulfillment of classification criteria for other connective tissue diseases. Data were collected on demographic characteristics, clinical presentation, laboratory investigations, and mortality.


A total of 50 incident cases of MCTD were identified (mean age 48.1 years and 84% were female). The annual incidence of MCTD was 1.9 per 100,000 population. Raynaud's phenomenon was the most common initial symptoms (50%), followed by arthralgia (30%) and swollen hands (16%). The diagnosis was frequently delayed with the median time from first symptom to fulfillment of criteria of 3.6 years. At fulfillment of criteria, arthralgia was the most prevalent manifestation (86%), followed by Raynaud's phenomenon (80%), swollen hands (64%), leukopenia/lymphopenia (44%), and heartburn (38%). Evolution to other connective tissue occurred infrequently with a 10-year rate of evolution of 8.5% and 6.3% for systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis, respectively. The overall mortality was not different from the general population with a standardized mortality ratio of 1.1 (95% confidence interval 0.4-2.6).


This study was the first population-based study of MCTD to provide a complete picture of epidemiology and clinical characteristics of MCTD. MCTD occurred in about 2 persons per 100,000 per year. Evolution to other connective diseases occurred infrequently and the mortality was not affected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center