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06-04-2017 | Comorbidities | Article

Fatigue in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Current Rheumatology Reports

Author: Patricia Katz

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this study was to review the current information on fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Recent Findings

Severe fatigue is common among individuals with RA and has a significant impact on quality of life (QOL). RA-related factors (e.g., inflammation, pain) are associated with greater fatigue, but other factors, such as obesity, physical inactivity, sleep disturbance, and depression, explain the majority of variation in fatigue. Medications targeting RA have little effect on fatigue. Instead, the most effective interventions seem to address non-RA-specific factors such as physical inactivity or use cognitive behavioral approaches. No recommendations have been made for tools to measure fatigue in RA, leading to potential difficulty comparing studies.


Although fatigue has great impact on patients’ QOL, effective interventions that are feasible for broad dissemination remain elusive. Additional multi-faceted research is needed to identify modifiable sources of fatigue. Such research would be enhanced by harmonization of fatigue measurement across studies.

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