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Postgrad Med. 1988 Oct;84(5):113-4, 119-21.

Rheumatic disorders in adults under 50. Guidelines for differential diagnosis.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical School, Galveston 77550.


Rheumatic disorders are not uncommon in patients between 20 and 50 years of age, and the differential diagnosis may be difficult. However, after a careful history and thorough physical examination, the cause usually becomes apparent. Laboratory findings alone should not be relied on for diagnosis. Because the impact on younger adults may be devastating and the potential disability may be present for many years, these patients represent an important challenge for any practicing physician.

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