Rheumatoid arthritis is a relatively common autoimmune disease that affects about 1% of the population. Its impact on health-related quality of life of the affected patients and the national medical cost are enormous. However, a systemic prospective cohort study of rheumatoid arthritis has not yet been established in Korea, so data on characteristics and prognosis of Korean rheumatoid arthritis and their response to therapy and adverse events are limited. Therefore establishment of large prospective cohort of Korean rheumatoid arthritis is imperative.
With inauguration of a steadfast prospective cohort of Korean rheumatoid arthritis patients in The Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases at Hanyang University, where patients gather from all over Korea forming the largest and most diverse patient pool in Korea, we will be able to define the characteristics and prognosis of Korean rheumatoid arthritis patients and gather information on treatment response and adverse events. This will eventually lead to improvement of health-related quality of life in Korean rheumatoid arthritis patients and provide opportunity for reliable comparison study with research institutes from other countries. The data gathered through the cohort will provide valuable foundational information for the genetic studies, pharmacological economic analyses, and standard treatment guidelines of Korean rheumatoid arthritis patients.