Question: I have rheumatoid arthritis. What is the outlook?
Answer: Well, I think that things have radically changed from the years past. Even as short as ten or 20 years ago, the treatments are much improved and much more dramatic in their effect. And I think that this disease is becoming significantly more manageable. People can lead a much more productive and valuable life, and a symptom-free life with the medications that we have available.
So I think it's important to have a knowledgeable physician treating the disease and monitoring things over the long term and either working in collaboration or managing simultaneously associated problems that can develop with rheumatoid arthritis that we discussed earlier, such as the prevention of heart disease and osteoporosis, and monitoring for other problems that might develop as a complication of the disease. Given reasonable monitoring and the spectacular effects of these newer drugs, I think the prognosis is now quite good, and that patients with rheumatoid arthritis can look forward to leading a productive life and a very full life.
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