We investigated the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD) diagnosed by coronary angiography performed because of suspected CAD in 102 persons, mean age 68 years, with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and in 102 age-matched and sex-matched persons. CAD was diagnosed by coronary angiography in 80 of 102 persons (78%) with RA and in 79 of 102 persons (77%) without RA (P not significant). Three-vessel CAD was present in 31 of 102 persons (30%) with RA and in 8 of 102 persons (8%) without RA (P < 0.001). Coronary revascularization was performed in 71 of 102 persons (70%) with RA and in 23 of 102 persons (23%) without RA (P < 0.001). Older persons with RA with suspected CAD have a higher prevalence of 3-vessel CAD and a higher prevalence of coronary revascularization than age-matched and sex-matched persons with suspected CAD without RA.