Eighty-five consecutive rheumatoid patients (M:F = 22:63) seen during a 10-week period were studied. There were significant differences between the sexes for haemoglobin (means (SD) M = 13.5 (1.2), F = 12.0 (1.6) g/dl, P less than 0.01), presence of nodules (M = 50%, F = 19%, P less than 0.05) and for the HAQ scores (mean (SD) score M = 1.1 (0.9), F = 1.7 (0.9), P = 0.03) but not for age, disease duration, presence of erosions, Larsen score, treatment, pain, early morning stiffness, articular index, ESR, and C-reactive protein. The results suggest that the patients were matched for age, disease activity, severity and duration. The difference in haemoglobin between the sexes is in keeping with a reference population. The data suggest that the impact of RA has a greater effect on the functional status of women.