medwireNews: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a higher risk for dying from most causes than the general population, Canadian study results suggest.
The researchers found that 13.5% of a cohort of 87,114 RA patients in Ontario died during 508,385 person–years of follow-up, compared with 9.3% of 348,456 matched comparators over 1,769,365 person–years, giving corresponding mortality rates of 232 versus 184 per 10,000 person–years.
For the three leading causes of death – circulatory system diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases –standardized mortality ratios of the number of deaths in RA patients relative to comparators tended to be highest in the younger age groups, but the absolute difference in mortality rates was highest among people in the older age groups.
These findings indicate that “[s]trategies to improve survival among RA individuals are needed across all ages,” Jessica Widdifield (Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario) and colleagues write in Arthritis Care & Research.
And the team highlights that their results offer “new insights into the relevance of cardiovascular, respiratory, and cancer contributions to mortality risk.”
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