Methods We examined 70 patients diagnosed for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) represented by three age groups: from 20 to 40 years (24 persons), from 40 to 60 years (36 persons), and over 60 years (10 persons).
Results In the majority of the patients we found the 2nd degree of the disease activity (51 persons), and the 2nd radiological stage of RA (45 persons). We analysed the changes in the immunological status, the concentration of the antibodies to phospholipids, the IgM rheumatoid factor, the antibodies reacting with the native DNA, and the von Willebrand factor. We found that RA in the lowest-age group was accompanied by the most marked changes in the immunological values, which was indicative of high autoimmune aggressiveness. The course of the disease in the middle age group was characterised by the least significant disruption of the cell and humoral immune reactions.
Conclusion It can be said that the main feature of the course of RA in the highest age group patients is the development of extra-articular manifestations, that significantly worsen the quality and reduce the duration of life.
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