Drugs & Aging

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 30–37 | Cite as

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Elderly

Prevalence and Optimal Management
  • Dirkjan van Schaardenburg
Review Article Epidemiology


Elderly-onset rheumatoid arthritis (EORA), defined as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with onset at age 60 years or over, differs slightly from younger-onset RA by a more equal gender distribution, a higher frequency of acute systemic onset with involvement of the shoulder, a higher disease activity, and, in later stages, more radiographic damage and functional decline. Several subsets of EORA are recognised, such as rheumatoid factor-positive RA, polymyalgia rheumatica and ‘remitting seronegative symmetrical synovitis with pitting oedema’. These conditions can be difficult to distinguish from crystal-induced arthritis, osteoarthritis and paraneoplastic arthritis. The efficacy and tolerability of second-line drugs is similar in both age groups, but in the elderly caution is needed with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and prednisone.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirkjan van Schaardenburg
    • 1
  1. 1.Rheumatology ClinicJan van Breemen Institute, Centre for Rheumatology and RehabilitationAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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