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Rheumatoid Arthritis


Sparks JA1. Ann Intern Med. 2019 Jan 1;170(1):ITC1-ITC16. doi: 10.7326/AITC201901010.a

Author Information

1    From Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. (J.A.S.).


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by painful, swollen joints that can severely impair physical function and quality of life. The presenting symptoms of musculoskeletal pain, swelling, and stiffness are common in clinical practice, so familiarity with diagnosing and managing RA is crucial. Patients with RA are at greater risk for serious infection, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality than the general population. In recent years, early diagnosis, aggressive treatment, and expanded therapeutic options of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs have markedly improved both the management and long-term prognosis of RA..