Author(s): Suzuki A, Ohosone Y, Obana M, Mita S, Matsuoka Y,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cause of death and complications in a series of autopsied patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: A clinicopathological study of 81 autopsied patients with RA was performed. RESULTS: In order of frequency, the causes of death were infection (23.5\%), heart disease (17.3\%), respiratory failure (9.9\%), renal failure (9.9\%), and gastrointestinal disease (9.9\%). Observed complications of RA were systemic angiitis in 25 cases (30.8\%), systemic amyloidosis in 17 cases (21.0\%), and pulmonary fibrosis in 28 cases (34.6\%). No patient had both angiitis and amyloidosis simultaneously. The prevalence of systemic angiitis tended to decrease during the study period (1960-1990), while systemic amyloidosis tended to increase. CONCLUSION: The cause of death in RA is difficult to analyze accurately because RA itself is a chronic systemic inflammation disease.
This article was published in J Rheumatol
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research