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The severity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is highly variable between patients and currently known risk factors explain only part of this variance.1 Much research is dedicated to identify additional new risk factors. Such factors may shed light on the processes underlying progression of RA and many risk factors together may enable risk stratification and individualised treatment of RA.
With interest we read the study by Möller et al,2 showing that patients with RA with anaemia have more severe radiological progression. Although anaemia in RA is generally considered to be a consequence of chronic inflammation, this recent study based on patients with RA included in the Swiss SCQM-database- observed that the association between anaemia and joint damage was independent of the association between disease activity (measured with the Disease Activity Score including the 28-swollen joint count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28ESR) and clinical Disease Activity Index (cDAI)) and joint damage. This led to the presumptions that anaemia in RA captures disease processes that are unmeasured …