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Rheumatoid arthritis in blacks in South Africa.
  1. G M Mody,
  2. O L Meyers
  1. Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Orthopaedic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.


    The spectrum of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was studied in a group of 52 blacks who attended a rheumatology unit in Cape Town, South Africa. The mean age of the patients was 44.6 years, and the female to male ratio was 3.7:1. Significant radiographic changes were frequently noted, and the mean Larsen scores were 34.9 for the hands, 19.6 for the feet, and 6.6 for the wrists. About two thirds of the patients had received an immunomodulatory drug and 20 (38%) had had one or more surgical procedures for their RA. Anaemia was the commonest extra-articular manifestation, and although the other extra-articular features were uncommon, a variety of features had been detected during the course of the disease. Earlier studies on blacks in Africa suggested that RA was a mild disease; our findings, however, are in agreement with the more recent surveys, which suggest that severe disease is not uncommon.

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