A nutrition study was conducted in thirty-eight hospitalized rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Twenty-seven (71.1%) had a high likelihood of malnutrition (LOM). Laboratory and anthropometric data suggest that multiple vitamin, calory, and protein deficiencies are present. Age, female sex and a poor grip strength correlated with some indices of malnutrition. Fifteen of 18 patients with a high LOM had a bad outcome whereas 3 of 7 patients with a low LOM had a bad outcome. Malnutrition per se may be a contributing factor to increased morbidity and mortality in RA. © 1987 Acta Medica Belgica.