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Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2016;54 Suppl 2:S210-5.

[Frailty syndrome in patients with rheumatoid arthritis].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

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Departamento Clínico de Reumatología, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Ciudad de México, México.


in English, Spanish


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disabling disease, which leads to joint destruction and functional limitations. It diminishes health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and life expectancy. Frailty is a chronic inflammatory process related to aging that causes disability and affects HRQoL. The presence of comorbidity and polypharmacy are both related to RA severity. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of frailty and comorbidities in patients with RA.


Based on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria, we studied patients with RA that were seen at the outpatient clinic of the Rheumatology Department of a third level hospital. We applied the frailty criteria according to the Cardiovascular Health Study. We registered demographic data along with comorbidities and polypharmacy, using a cross-sectional, observational, and descriptive study design.


Five hundred consecutive RA patients were included, 453 (90.6 %) were female.Mean age was 51.3 years and mean disease duration was 13.2 years; 23.4 % met frailty criteria. Mean number of comorbidities was 1.59, with systemic hypertension and obesity as the most frequent ones (25.2 % and 18.2 %, respectively). Polypharmacy was found in 99.6 % and 69.6 % received more than five drugs simultaneously.


Prevalence of frailty in this study was unexpectedly high and so were comorbidities and multiple drug usage. Clinicians should make an early detection of signs of frailty and comorbidity in RA patients.


Comorbidity; Frail elderly; Polypharmacy; Quality of life; Rheumatoid arthritis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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