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Mortality Risk in Rheumatoid Lung Patients

Jan 20, 2021 6:47 pm

A Medicare claims analysis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients showed that RA-associated interstitial lung disease (RA-ILD) was seen in nearly 5% of patients and was found to increase mortality risks, including respiratory and cancer mortality not explained by other factors.

Sparks et al has reported their work on a national cohort study RA and RA-ILD using Medicare claims data. The compared the total mortality of RA-ILD to RA without ILD after adjusting for baseline covariates.

From 509,787 RA patients (mean age 72.6 years, 76.2% female), 2% had RA-ILD at baseline and thereafter 2.6% developed RA-ILD during 1,873,127 person-years of follow-up.

Mortality was higher in RA-ILD patients (38.7%) compared with RA without ILD (20.7%) with a resultant increased risk (after adjustment) (HR of 1.66;(95% CI 1.60, 1.72).  RA-ILD was also associated with a higher risk of respiratory mortality (sdHR 4.39; 95% CI 4.13, 4.67) and cancer mortality (sdHR 1.56; 1.43, 1.71) compared to those without RA_ILD.

The development of ILD poses significant morbidity and augmented mortality in RA patients. 

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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