Rheumatologists highlight gaps in doctors’ knowledge

Many doctors are unaware of the high mortality rate associated with rheumatic diseases, say specialists who are concerned there is not enough emphasis on the need for patients to take their treatment seriously.

Part of the problem is that rheumatic-disease mortality is normally attributed to cancer, cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, gastrointestinal and infectious diseases, say the rheumatologists, who include Dr Kathryn Gibson from Liverpool Hospital in Sydney.