Epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis and mortality

Elena Myasoedova, John M. Davis, Cynthia S. Crowson, Sherine E. Gabriel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Increased mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is widely recognized but not fully explained. Despite substantial improvements in management and growing knowledge of the determinants of increased mortality, evidence for reduction in mortality in RA has lagged behind. Indeed, most studies report no apparent reduction in mortality in RA. However, emerging evidence from some recent RA inception cohorts suggests no increased mortality, including cardiovascular mortality, but this awaits further confirmation. Although it is possible that recent advances in RA treatment may manifest in improvement of survival in the near future, other factors, including undertreated or unrecognized low-grade inflammation, comorbidities, and immunogenetic factors, may contribute to the excess mortality in RA and impede its improvement. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the rates and determinants of mortality in RA, identify and discuss potential explanations for excessmortality, and outline promising research avenues for targeting mortality in RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent rheumatology reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Accelerated aging
  • CV disease
  • Inflammation
  • Mortality
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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