Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic disease that can affect many other organs besides the joints, such as the heart and lungs. Excess mortality is due to infection, gastrointestinal bleeding, other organ involvement, and cardiovascular disease.
The rating will depend upon the severity of disease. Mild Rheumatoid arthritis (normal laboratory and X-ray results, no functional disability or other organ involvement) that is treated with simple medication regimens (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, aspirin, sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine, minocycline) will be non-rated. Moderate disease would be rated Table B to D range. Disease that has been inactive for at least 2-5yrs will be considered for lower ratings. Severe disease (severe functional disability, wheelchair bound, or RA disease in organs besides the joints) will generally be declined.
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