Cryoglobulinemia and Mortality
This is a topic which I have been avoiding to keep from alarming those who have been newly diagnosed without good reason to do so.
After researching this , and thinking about it for some time, I decided that I should talk about this in a post on the forum.
Based on work done by Claudio Ferri (2004) it appears that the mortality rate for persons with cryoglobulinemia are about 42 percent, possibly as high as 50 percent in the first 6 years after diagnosis. Rossa et-al (2008) included the work of Ferri and others to arrive at similar results.
Rieu et-al (2002) examined outcomes for various comorbid conditions with cryoglobulinemia and determined that a more positive outcome was likely in patients who did not have liver, kidney or lung involvement with cryoglobulinemia.
Later work by Bryce et-al (2006) revisited mortality and observed that for all patients in their study, overall the mean 50 percent survival time was about seven years, and that for patients over the age of 57.6 years, the 50 percent survival time was a little better than 5 years.
In all three of these studies, researchers point out that the outcome is likely to be significantly better if there is no involvement of the kidneys, liver, or lungs. Surprisingly, in spite of the seriousness of potential involvement of these organs, the leading single cause of death in cryoglobulemia appears to be vasculitis.
With a cure for hepatitis C now available and with patients getting treated successfully, I would expect to see the 5 year survivor rates improve over the next few years as the number of people having liver involvement with cryoglobulinemia ought to decline markedly. Unless a breakthrough in treatment is achieved, I would expect to see vasculitis continue to be the leading cause of death in persons with cryoglobulinemia.
ADDENDUM: One thing that should be mentioned is that treatment of cryo has improved a lot in the last 2-3 decades. The expected survival of a person with severe cryoglobulinemia would be a matter of a few months, at most, without treatment.
I just added a citation for Rossa (2008). I had used his information but had not cited it.