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We consider the design of efficient rate-compatible (RC) irregular repeat accumulate (IRA) codes over a wide code rate range. The goal is to provide a family of RC codes to achieve high throughput in hybrid automatic repeat request (ARQ) scheme for high-speed data packet wireless systems. As a subclass of low-density parity-check codes, IRA codes have an extremely simple encoder and a low-complexity decoder while providing capacity approaching performance. We focus on a hybrid design method which employs both puncturing and extending. We propose a simple puncturing method based on minimizing the maximal recoverable step of the punctured nodes. We also propose a new extending scheme for IRA codes by introducing the degree-1 parity bits for the lower rate codes and obtaining the optimal proportions of extended nodes through density evolution analysis. The throughput performance of the designed RC-IRA codes in hybrid ARQ is evaluated for both AWGN and block fading channels. Simulation results demonstrate that our designed RC codes offer good error correction performance over a wide rate range and provide high throughput, especially in the high and low signal-to-noise ratio regions.