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Multimorbidity Burden in Rheumatoid Arthritis

May 17, 2022 1:27 pm

Crowson and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic have shown that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have a higher prevalence of multimorbidity with as many as 44 different morbidities of interest in RA.

This population-based study examined prevalent RA as of January 2015 and sought to identify 44 previously defined morbidities and 78 non-overlapping chronic disease categories. Only those morbidities with a prevalence ≥5% were retained. Multimorbidity was defined as 2 or more morbidities.

A total of 1643 RA patients were matched with 1643 non-RA subjects (72% women; mean age 63.1 years) for study. From these 44 morbidities, multimorbidity was found in 86% of RA and 71% of non-RA subjects (p<0.001). 5+ morbidities was more common in RA patients (55% vs 38% of non-RA; p<0.001).

Patients with RA had significantly higher prevalence interstitial lung disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Also significantly higher in RA (than non-RA) was organic sleep disorders, vitamin D deficiency and foot ulcers.

Comorbidity is increased in RA; this is critical to identify as multimorbidity is associated with poorer outcomes and poorer response to therapy.

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

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