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Widening Death Gap Haunts RA Patients

Over 50 Years, Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients See No Gain in Life Expectancy

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Heart Disease continued...

Gabriel points out that patients in the current study were treated through January 2007. If new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are helping patients live longer, this effect has not yet become apparent. She thinks it's a bad idea to wait to see whether this happens.

"I would caution my colleagues not to assume things will get better, but to try to see what is causing these differences in survival," Gabriel says. "There are a lot of patients that could be helped by studies specifically designed to improve survival in people with rheumatoid arthritis. I'm not comfortable with just waiting another five years to see what happens."

Gabriel and colleagues report their findings in the November 2007 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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