Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Widening Mortality Gap Between People With Rheumatoid Arthritis And The General Population

Date:
October 31, 2007
Source:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Summary:
An autoimmune inflammatory disease that takes a progressive toll on the heart, kidney and liver as well as the joints, rheumatoid arthritis is associated with a high risk of early death. This sobering fact is well known. Less is known about whether longevity has improved for RA patients over the past few decades of remarkable improvements in longevity in the general population. Are earlier diagnosis, breakthrough drugs, and more aggressive antirheumatic treatment regimens paying off in terms of survival?

An autoimmune inflammatory disease that takes a progressive toll on the heart, kidney and liver as well as the joints, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with a high risk of early death. This sobering fact is well known. Less is known about whether longevity has improved for RA patients over the past few decades of remarkable improvements in longevity in the general population. Are earlier diagnosis, breakthrough drugs, and more aggressive antirheumatic treatment regimens paying off in terms of survival?

Related Articles


For answers to this vital question, researchers at the Mayo Clinic conducted a sweeping comparison of mortality trends among RA subjects with those in the general population. Their unsettling results, presented in Arthritis & Rheumatism, underscore the urgent need to find strategies that will work to reduce the excess mortality consistently associated with RA.

Drawn from the comprehensive medical records of all residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, 822 RA subjects were identified. The subjects included all residents of Rochester, Minnesota, first diagnosed with RA between January 1, 1955, and January 1, 1995, as well as all Olmsted County residents diagnosed with RA between January 1, 1995, and January 1, 2000. The subjects were 71.5 percent women, with a mean age of 57.6 years at RA incidence. All were followed up through their entire medical records until death or January 1, 2007. The median time of follow-up was 11.7 years, during which 445 of the RA subjects died.

Researchers compared the survival rates of patients diagnosed with RA in 5 time periods: 1955-1964, 1965-1974, 1975-1984, 1985-1994, and 1995-2000 using Cox regression models, adjusting for age and sex. In the 5 time periods, there was no significant difference in survival rates for RA subjects--which also means no significant gains in longevity.

To confirm their findings, researchers calculated and compared mortality rates using person-year methods. Based on the National Center for Health Statistics life tables for the Minnesota white population, researchers also determined the number of expected deaths for people of similar age and sex in the general population.

Between 1965 and 2005, the mortality rates for female and male RA subjects were relatively constant at 2.4 and 2.5 per 100 person-years, respectively. In contrast, the expected mortality rate decreased substantially for both female and male subjects from the general population over the same time period. Mortality in women in the Minnesota general population declined from 1.0 per 100 person-years in 1965 to 0.2 per 100 person-years in 2000. Similarly, mortality in men decreased from 1.2 per 100 person-years in 1965 to 0.3 per 100 person-years in 2000.

"We found no evidence indicating that RA subjects experienced improvements in survival over the last 4-5 decades" states the study's leading author, Dr. Sherine Gabriel. "In fact, RA subjects did not even experience the same improvements in survival as their peers without arthritis, resulting in a worsening of the relative mortality in more recent years, and a widening of the mortality gap between RA subjects and the general population throughout time."

While the study's findings focused almost exclusively on white individuals in one geographic area, they raise general concerns about current intervention strategies for RA. "Although the reasons for the widening mortality gap are unclear," Dr. Gabriel notes, "cardiovascular deaths constitute at least half of the deaths in subjects with RA, and it is possible that the cardiovascular interventions that improved life expectancy in the general population may not have had the same beneficial effects in persons with RA." She stresses the urgent need for research aimed at fully understanding this alarming trend and finding solutions that will close the mortality gap for more people with RA.

Article: "The Widening Mortality Gap Between Rheumatoid Arthritis Subjects and the General Population," Angel Gonzalez, Hilal Maradit Kremers, Cynthia S. Crowson, Paulo J. Nicola, John M. Davis, III, Terry M. Therneau, Veronique L. Roger, and Sherine E. Gabriel, Arthritis & Rheumatism, November 2007; (DOI: 10.1002/art.22979).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Widening Mortality Gap Between People With Rheumatoid Arthritis And The General Population." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071029081521.htm>.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. (2007, October 31). Widening Mortality Gap Between People With Rheumatoid Arthritis And The General Population. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071029081521.htm
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Widening Mortality Gap Between People With Rheumatoid Arthritis And The General Population." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071029081521.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins