Rheumatoid arthritis has been a fertile field for medical research, but relatively little has been written about the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in the elderly. Diessner ( 1 ), in 1962, was able to find only five articles on the subject in the English literature. These articles included a total of 238 patients, in all of whom the onset of rheumatoid arthritis had occurred after the age of 50 years. Many physicians seem reluctant to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis in patients whose joint symptoms begin after the age of 65 years. Little is known about the course of the disease as it appears in the elderly; some authors ( 2 ) have indicated that the prognosis is poorer than it is in the younger age group, whereas others ( 3 ) hold the opposite view. Cancer of various types, not infrequent in the older age group, may produce an articular syndrome occasionally indistinguishable from rheumatoid arthritis ( 4 – 8 ). Scherbel and associates ( 9 ) have stated, “When rheumatoid disease or related connective tissue syndrome appears in middle life or later, a search for neoplasm is indicated.” PURPOSE AND METHOD The records of patients having the onset
Journal of American Geriatrics Society – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1967
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