Mortality Trends Among Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Western Australia

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4 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: With scarce comparative data on mortality in Australian patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we investigated temporal changes in standardized mortality rates for patients with RA using longitudinal linked population-wide health data in Western Australia (WA) over the period 1980 to 2015.

METHODS: The study included 17,125 patients with a first-time hospital contact for RA (ICD-10-AM M05.00-M06.99 and ICD-9-AM 714.00-714.99) in the study period. Standardized mortality rate ratios (SMRRs) for the RA cohort versus the WA general population was estimated using direct age standardization. We analyzed temporal trends over with dates and causes provided by the WA Death Registry.

RESULTS: During 356,069 patient-years of follow-up, a total of 8955 (52%) deaths occurred in the RA cohort. The SMRR was 2.24 (95% CI 2.15-2.34) in males and 3.09 (95% CI 3.00-3.19) in females over the study period. SMRR decreased since 2000 to 1.59 (95% CI 1.39-1.81) for the period 2011-2015. Median survival was 26.80 years (95% CI 26.30-27.30), where age and comorbidity independently increased the risk of death. The leading causes of deaths were cardiovascular diseases (26.60%), cancer (16.80%), rheumatic diseases (5.80%), chronic pulmonary disease 491 (5.50%), dementia (3.00%), and diabetes 235 (2.6%).

CONCLUSIONS: The mortality rate in patients with RA in WA has decreased but remains 1.59-times higher than in community counterparts, suggesting that there is room for further improvement. Comorbidity is the main modifiable risk factor to further reduce mortality in patients with RA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1037
Number of pages17
JournalRheumatology and therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2023


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