Clinical manifestations (locomotion score) and annual costs were studied in a population-based cohort of 82 patients with rheumatoid arthritis fulfilling five to eight American Rheumatological Association's (ARA) criteria. The total costs were SEK 4.9 million: respectively 56 and 44 percent direct and indirect costs. The costs were correlated with total, as well as subjective and objective, locomotion scores, which assess separately impairment, disability, and handicap from the disease (WHO 1980). Patients below 65 years had higher costs-predominantly as an indirect cost due to loss of work-than older patients. Elderly rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients had a low score and high costs for medical and social services' care, but they had no indirect costs. Patients with a low locomotion score had received previous hospital treatment averaging 89 days. The need of hospital treatment was strongly correlated with low locomotion score. The mean annual patient's costs were about SEK 60,000, but above this for younger patients. When compared with patients with a mild affliction (score 91-100), patients with moderate manifestations, i.e., with a score of 70-90, had five times higher costs, whereas those with severe manifestations, with a score below 50, had 20 times higher costs.