To compare mortality rates, underlying causes of death, excess mortality, and years of potential life lost (
YPLL) among patients with rheumatoid arthritis ( RA) relative to the general population. Methods
We studied an inception cohort of 87,114 Ontario‐based
RApatients and 348,456 age/sex/area‐matched general population comparators from years 2000 to 2013. All‐cause, cause‐specific, and excess mortality rates, mortality rate ratios ( MRRs), and the YPLLwere estimated. Results
A total of 11,778
RApatients (14%) and 32,472 comparators (9%) died during 508,385 and 1,769,365 patient‐years of follow‐up, respectively, for corresponding mortality rates of 232 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 228–236) and 184 (95% CI182–186) per 10,000 patient‐years. The leading causes of death in both groups were diseases of the circulatory system, cancer, and respiratory conditions. Increased mortality for all‐cause and specific causes was observed in RApatients relative to the general population. MRRs were elevated for most causes of death. Age‐specific mortality ratios illustrated a high excess mortality among RApatients <45 years of age for respiratory disease and circulatory disease. The YPLLfor RApatients was 7,436 per 10,000 persons, compared with 4,083 YPLLamong those without RA. Conclusion
Among most causes of death, mortality rates were increased in
RApatients relative to the general population. The potential life years lost (before the age of 75 years) among RApatients was roughly double that among those without RA, reflecting higher rate ratios for most causes of death and RApatients dying at earlier ages.