Older individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) appeared to have no problems with their daily activities, according to a study reported in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (January 2005). The researchers based their findings on analysis of health data on 600 men and women older than 75 from one Finnish town. Of the participants, 16, or 3%, had been diagnosed with RA.
Of the RA patients, the results of the study found that half received the best possible score on a standard scale, compared with 40% of the rest of the participants. The scale measured independence in daily activities like walking, stair climbing, dressing, and bathing. The researchers found, however, that 3 RA patients (19%) fell into the category of severely disabled, compared with 4% of men and women without the disease.