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Date: 17.09.2010
From: Caroline

Subject: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

At the end of an article in the 'Times' yesterday (Thursday Sept. 16th 2010) was the worrying statement that in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers 'life expectancy is also reduced by about ten years'.The subject of a shorter life has never been discussed with me by any consultant but I see that there are numerous references to this possibility on the 'net.
I wondered whether other rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have talked about this or have knowledge or facts of this lower life expectancy.
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Date: 17.09.2010
From: Sally

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

I've been aware of this but I think it only applies if you don't treat it. I know someone in their mid 80's with it.
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Date: 17.09.2010
From: Caroline

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Thanks for responding, Sally and that sounds more hopeful. However, I'm wondering if it makes a difference as to how early and with which treatments the patient is treated. At one time there was a tendency to treat RA sufferers with less powerful drugs and I believe this way of thinking is now reversed. I understand that the problem lies with the inflammatory nature of the disease which can also effect organs such as the heart. There will always be people who outlive the expected average and it may be that those diagnosed in the future will have to worry less about this 'ten year' factor as they will receive stronger treatment quicker.
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Date: 18.09.2010
From: Angela

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Hi Caroline, I am 54 and have RA, got it 2 and a half years ago, and I have read that loads of times to, and I must say it does bother me.
More so when my inflammation levels were staying at 80crp-100esr, this happened for the first 2 years.It has balanced out now and runs around 9crp-30esr.
While it was happening I could hear my heart beating in my head so fast and loud, so I knew that it was being strained, my blood pressure was raised to plus cholesterol was 6.6.
I asked the rhummy about the prognosis and he told me that if my body kept on working at that rate for say 10 years then would no doubt get heart damage which in turn could lower my life span.
Since my Esr has reduced I have managed to get my cholesterol down to 5.5 and my blood pressure has gone back to normal now.
So hopefully if I keep my body as healthy as I can, I will not pop my cloggs 10 years to early
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Date: 18.09.2010
From: Caroline

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Thank you,Angela.
Your account does seem to point to a link between high inflammation levels and blood pressure problems, at least.
I am slightly older than you (at 57) and have had RA for at least fourteen years. In the first years of my diagnosis I had some wildly fluctuating levels of inflammation as I went through the range of medications which were usually offered at first in those days. Now that I inject with Enbrel I would say that my condition is more stable and I suffer fewer 'flare ups'. I suppose the question is as to how much damage to internal organs such as the heart has already been done before the condition was controlled and whether it IS this link with inflammation which has prompted some researchers to suggest rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may have a shortened life.
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Date: 18.09.2010
From: KayJay

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

I have read that RA can affect internal organs ? but it is very rare. I wonder if that's where the shortened life span comes from ? Anyway I have Diabetes and high cholestrol as well so ........... better book that long awaited Cruise now ? lol
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Date: 18.09.2010
From: Caroline

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Thanks, KayJay.
Yes -my husband has been saying that we had better make good use of the time I have left!!!
It is interesting to read everyone's comments on this topic.
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Date: 21.09.2010
From: sandra

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

hi caroline i have RA and i have had it since i was 21 and now im 54 but never heard of it, but also my granny had it and died at the age of 82,im not thinking of that just trying to enjoy my grandson and im going to be a granny again in may
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Date: 22.09.2010
From: Teresa

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Hi, does anyone know if this alleged reduced life expectancy is just for RA or for all inflammatory arthritis? Like psoriatic arthritis?
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Date: 10.11.2010
From: Debbie

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Hi I am also a sufferer. I have had it since i was 2yrs old and now 36 but various links on internet have made me extremely worried about how long i have to live. Can someone please reassure me.
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Date: 10.11.2010
From: ScaryFeet

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

I wasn't going to reply to this but find myself keep looking at it and itching to reply but before I do please remember that I'm have RA too and understand what most of us are going through and how horrible it is............

But...........

Stop worrying about your blinking life expectency for Gods sake. Don't you have enough on your plate without worrying yourself sick over this? Do you worry about going out in case your RA stops you crossing the road quick enough and you get run over by a bus and killed? Or if you are attacked by a dog your RA will stop you running off and so you will get mauled and die? Or what about that meteorite that may crash down from space and destroy earth.... No, I didn't think so..........Ok, rant over...

I'm sorry if I sound so grumpy about this but sometimes I read things on here that start as a straightforward and sensible question then turns into a disaster movie waiting to happen. Come on guys, we have years left to spend with people we love......and if we don't then we won't know anything about it because we'll be dead, so lets get on with trying to enjoy what we do have and focus on the positives in life.........

Oh boy, I hope you are all still speaking to me after that......but I think it had to be said....

Its a lovely day outside my window......!!
xxx
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Date: 10.11.2010
From: KayJay

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Like the old song goes ' what will be will be '. I think it must be much, much harder to accept when you are younger because that's when we all think about our mortality more. Well I did anyway and now at age 56 I wish I could go back and just chill out !! But it's best to stay positive in any illness so try not to dwell on what 'may' happen because then you are not enjoying life in ' the now ' and believe me the big '50' comes around very quick !! Enjoy and be happy ;0)
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Date: 11.11.2010
From: Caroline

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Thank you all for your input and sensible opinions on this subject. I may, perhaps, ask my rheumatology nurse when I meet with her today -on the other hand, I might just concentrate on the positive side of life, as several of you advise!
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Date: 15.02.2011
From: George Ashford

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Hi Caroline,

I work for a market research company that specialises in the medical device field. We are looking for RA sufferers that inject Enbrel and either live in the London area or are willing and able to travel to London to take part in an interview. The interview will relate to a new device to help RA sufferers administer their drugs. We will pay 200 to cover expenses and the interview would last approx 90 minutes.

Would you be interested? Please do get in touch if you would like to know more - george.ashford@creativemedicalresearch.com

Best regards,
George
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Date: 16.02.2011
From: Jon Wright

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

Ah, live your life - Dont worry about what might happen. I think it maybe true (statistically) but if you eat well and try to keep active I dont see why our condition would really affect our lifespan. Again, I stress the importance of keeping healthy (eating good food and getting excersize).
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Date: 16.02.2011
From: kazzie

Subject: Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Life Expectancy

since having ra i have got to say when i have been having bad flares up i was hospitailised i did thing omg is this it but now on enbrel and can actaully move again i try not to put off stuff .if i feel ok i do stuff cause i know tomoz i might not be able to .e.g am 36 and my daughter is 17 on fri and i have tried with lots of help do her a surprise party at home then i had a flare up and panic set in but then i thought sod it while i feel okish lets have it as who knows what next year will bring
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