Dr. Ruderman shares if arthritis is a fatal condition.
The disease itself can be fatal, largely because of the kidney disease or the lung disease or the heart disease that might be associated with it, not the arthritis per se.
Rheumatoid arthritis, because of the systemic inflammation, actually causes a higher level of cardiovascular disease in women and men who have rheumatoid arthritis and so people with rheumatoid arthritis actually when not treated die earlier than someone without rheumatoid arthritis on average. But it is not because the arthritis itself, it is because of the cardiovascular complications that are associated with arthritis.
And then finally there are certain types of infectious arthritis that if not treated could potentially be fatal because of the infection itself.
About Dr. Ruderman, M.D.:
Dr. Eric M. Ruderman, M.D., is associate professor in the division of rheumatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. He is also a board member of the Arthritis Foundation of Greater Chicago.
Dr. Ruderman graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York, New York. He completed his residence at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship training in rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.