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.
About Annals in the Clinic
Annals In the Clinic is a monthly feature in Annals of Internal Medicine introduced in January 2007 that focuses on practical management of patients with common clinical conditions. It offers evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about screening, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and patient education and provides physicians with tools to improve the quality of care.
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Annals in the Clinic