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While many people with scleroderma live long, full lives, the death rate is increased by up to eight times for diffuse disease and two times for limited disease. Pulmonary hypertension and diffuse skin disease are risk factors for poor prognosis. However, longevity in this illness seems to be improving over time. Its rarity and variability make it difficult to accurately predict the prognosis in an individual with scleroderma.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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