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Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
Date:4/3/2012

rchers identified 813 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 813 without it, using data from 1980-2008 in the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a National Institutes of Health-supported effort in which Mayo and other Olmsted County, Minn., health care providers pool medical records.

The incidence of upper GI problems in rheumatoid arthritis patients declined over the years but was still higher in that group: 2.9 for every 100 person years compared with 1.7 in non-rheumatoid arthritis patients. The rate of lower GI problems in rheumatoid arthritis patients was 2.1, compared with 1.4 in others, the study found. Of the arthritis patients studied, 229 died. GI problems were significantly associated with their deaths, including bleeds, perforations and obstructions.

"Our findings emphasize that physicians and patients must be vigilant for these complications, which can occur without causing abdominal pain," Dr. Matteson says. "Especially stopping smoking and reducing the use of corticosteroids would appear to be important in reducing the risk of major lower GI complications."


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Contact: Sharon Theimer
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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