How Age Alters the Appearance of Scleroderma


A study of more than 1,000 patients with systemic sclerosis over 5 years has revealed how symptoms and outcomes vary with age at onset.

Alba MA, Velasco C, Simeón CP, et al. Early- versus Late-Onset Systemic Sclerosis: Differences in Clinical Presentation and Outcome in 1037 PatientsMedicine, (2014). 93:73–81. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000000018

In systemic sclerosis, age at disease onset is associated with differences in clinical presentation and outcome.

The Spanish Scleroderma Study Group followed 1,037 patients for a mean followup of five years. The  investigators compared the initial and cumulative manifestations, immunologic features, and death rates for three age groups at onset: early standard, and late.

Standardized mortality was higher in younger patients. The article contains far more detail about symptoms and outcomes than those included in the chart below.

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