The Chronicity of Symptoms and Disability in Reiter's Syndrome: An Analysis of 131 Consecutive Patients

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To assess the natural history of Reiter's disease, we evaluated 131 consecutive patients at a university clinic or at a community center. One hundred twenty-two patients (93%) were available for follow-up at a mean of 5.6 years. The results showed that there were no major differences between patients at the two centers; at follow-up, 101 (83%) had some disease activity, 27 (22%) had annoying symptoms, 42 (34%) had sustained disease activity, 19 (16%) had had to change jobs, and 13 (11%) were unemployable; there were no major differences between the 19 (15%) females and 112 (85%) males or between the HLA-B27-positive (83%) and -negative (17%) patients, except for increased prevalence of sacroiliitis and chronic uveitis in HLA-B27 -positive patients; and, at entry, only increased heel disease differentiated those destined to have a poor prognosis. Most patients with Reiter's syndrome have persisting symptoms that can lead to chronic disability.

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