An autumn tale: geriatric rheumatoid arthritis
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CitationKobak, S. (2018). An autumn tale: Geriatric rheumatoid arthritis. Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, 10(1), 3–11. https://doi.org/10.1177/1759720X17740075
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by erosive arthritis and systemic organ involvement. The disease may affect all ages and both sexes; usually it is seen in young women aged 25-45. Recent studies have shown that RA is among the most common inflammatory disease in older age groups. While elderly-onset rheumatoid arthritis (EORA) is still discussed in the literature, it is generally accepted as a disease beginning after 65 years of age. Compared with young-onset rheumatoid arthritis (YORA), it was found that EORA had different characteristics. EORA is characterized by more equal gender distribution, higher frequency of acute onset with constitutional symptoms, more frequent involvement of large joints, and lower frequency of rheumatoid factor (RF) positivity. Earlier diagnosis, less erosive disease and less disease-modifying antirheumatic drug usage were reported as distinguishing EORA from YORA patients. These various clinical presentations may cause difficulties in diagnosis and differential diagnosis of EORA. However, different clinical and treatment approaches may be needed in these patients. In this article, the clinical and laboratory characteristics, prognosis and treatment principles of EORA will be discussed in light of recent literature data.