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Comorbidities in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

A substantial number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have multiple comorbidities, and these were associated with poor health-related qualify of life (HRQoL) and higher health care expenditures, a new study found. Adult patients with RA and age-, sex-matched individuals without RA (non-RA controls) were identified from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2010-2015 data. 20 comorbidities were investigated. Researchers found:

  • A total of 2,925 patients with RA and 14,625 controls were included.
  • Approximately 60.4% of RA and 37.2% of non-RA had ≥3 comorbidities, and 23.5% of RA and 12.0% of non-RA controls had ≥5 comorbidities.
  • The prevalence of comorbidities in RA was higher across different types of comorbidities vs non-RA controls.
  • The most prevalent comorbidities in RA were cardiovascular diseases (79.0%) followed by respiratory conditions (34.4%).


An J, et al. Prevalence of comorbidities and their associations with health-related quality of life and healthcare expenditures in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. [Published online ahead of print May 27, 2019]. Clin Rheumatol. doi: 10.1007/s10067-019-04613-2.