As soon as you begin to learn about rheumatoid arthritis, it becomes clear that early diagnosis and treatment are recommended to get the disease under control A.S.A.P. (as soon as possible). Rheumatoid arthritis can impact quality of life, your ability to work, and even your life expectancy. That's why it's so important to get the upper hand.
Many people are surprised to learn that more than a third of rheumatoid arthritis patients experience work disability. For many, the loss of ability to work doesn't come late in the course of the disease -- it begins early after disease onset. According to the July 2012 Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 80% of rheumatoid arthritis patients are working at 2 years, and 68% are working at 5 years.
Life expectancy is cut by up to 3 to 5 years, especially among those with extra-articular disease (i.e., affecting parts of the body other than joints) and those who develop serious adverse effects related to treatment (e.g., infections, tumors, gastrointestinal toxicity from drugs). It is also known that rheumatoid arthritis patients have a greater risk of heart attack and heart failure compared to people without the disease.
- Can I Continue to Work With Arthritis?
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Shortens Life Expectancy
- Heart Attack Risk Increases 6-Fold for Women With Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Lower Gastrointestinal Complications Affect Many Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
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