Patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are more likely to achieve sustained remission compared with patients with established RA, according to results published in Rheumatology.

The study included adult patients with RA who were included in the Swedish Rheumatology Quality registry (n=29,084). The researchers searched for participants who had fulfilled remission criteria, including Disease Activity Score 28 joint-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-ESR), Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI), Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI), and American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism (ACR/EULAR)-defined remission, for at least 6 months. The researchers defined early RA as symptom duration ≤6 months at inclusion in the Swedish Rheumatology Quality registry.

After analysis, the researchers found that 41.9% (n=12,193) of participants reached DAS28 sustained remission at some point during follow-up compared with 22.2% (n=6445) for CDAI sustained remission, 21.3% (n=6199) for SDAI sustained remission, and 17.5% (n=5087) for ACR/EULAR sustained remission.

Patients with early RA were more likely to achieve sustained remission compared with patients with established RA (P <.001).

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The median time from symptom onset to sustained remission was 1.9 years for DAS28 criteria, 2.4 years for CDAI criteria, 2.4 years for SDAI criteria, and 2.5 years for ACR/EULAR criteria.

Characteristics associated with sustained remission included lower age, male sex, and milder disease characteristics.

Reference

Einarsson JT, Willim M, Ernestam S, et al. Prevalence of sustained remission in rheumatoid arthritis: impact of criteria sets and disease duration, a nationwide study in Sweden [published online March 12, 2018]. Rheumatology. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/key054