Rheumatoid Arthritis Prognosis

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) does not have a cure. It is a progressive disease that leads to steady joint damage and severe debility. The main outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • continuing and persistent joint inflammation
  • progressive joint damage
  • progressive decline in joint movement and function

Other major prognosis and outcomes include features of other systems like inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis), heart disease, infections etc.

Achieving remission

The main goal of treatment is to achieve a remission where there is no active joint inflammation and no progressive deterioration of the joints by erosion of the ends of the bones. Remission also means no further deterioration of the functional capability of the joints that are affected. It is only in 10–50% of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis that such a remission is seen.

Reduce pain and progression of the disease

Another major goal of therapy is to reduce pain and progression of the disease along with maintenance of function of the joints while maintaining capability for work and recreational activities. Therapy also aims at improving the quality of life and the personal perception of the disease burden.

Rheumatoid arthritis and early death

Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of early death. Those with rheumatoid arthritis are two times more likely to die than persons of the same age without the condition. Rheumatoid arthritis in addition accounts for 22% of all deaths from arthritis and other rheumatic conditions.

Improving treatment

With improvement in treatment the hospital admission rates, joint replacement rates as well as the previously seen high mortality rates in severe cases is on the decline. Apart from therapy and new modalities of treatment, early diagnosis, physiotherapy, and changes and improvements in care delivery is responsible for these improvements in adverse outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis to a certain extent.

Self care in rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and therapy can alter several facets in life. The pain, stiffness and loss of function may be progressive and non-retractable in many cases. This makes adequate care important to delay debility as long as possible.

Maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy balanced diet as well as quitting smoking are some of the lifestyle measures that can be adapted to effectively deal with minor discomforts and prevent long term adverse effects due to rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis due to its effects of mobility and functioning may lead to anxiety and depressive disorders. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle along with a positive outlook may help prevent early development of fatigue, pain, and depression.

Regular check-ups

To keep the disease under control and prevent flare ups regular reviews and checkups with the healthcare team are also important. Regular vaccinations (against influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia etc.) can help prevent infections and complications associated with a weakened immunity that is seen in treated rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jul 7, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, July 07). Rheumatoid Arthritis Prognosis. News-Medical. Retrieved on May 26, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Rheumatoid-Arthritis-Prognosis.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Rheumatoid Arthritis Prognosis". News-Medical. 26 May 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Rheumatoid-Arthritis-Prognosis.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Rheumatoid Arthritis Prognosis". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Rheumatoid-Arthritis-Prognosis.aspx. (accessed May 26, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Rheumatoid Arthritis Prognosis. News-Medical, viewed 26 May 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Rheumatoid-Arthritis-Prognosis.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Human molecular adaptations to fasting: Insights from proteomic analysis