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Early, Intensive Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Seems to Normalise Mortality Rates

Conference
EULAR 2018
Trial
Cohort study, COBRA

Data from the Dutch COBRA study show that RA mortality is normalised when compared to the general population after 23 years of follow-up. These findings confirm that early, intensive treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – which may include the use of glucocorticoids – offers long-term benefits and strongly suggests these benefits include reduced mortality towards controls. Mortality in patients with RA is known to be higher than what has been observed in the general population.[1-3] The adverse effects of the disease also take some time to show; they become apparent after more than a decade. Yet, it was unknown whether early, intensive treatment improved mortality rates. Research from the COmbinatietherapie Bij Rheumatoïde Artritis (COBRA) trial, a prospective cohort study of early RA, showed that early RA treatment provides long-term effectiveness without causing undue harm.[4]

Patients with early RA (median disease duration 4 months) were treated with sulphala...



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