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Development of disease activity and disability in women and men with early rheumatoid arthritis: 8 years of follow-up from the Swedish TIRA-project
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Health Technology Assessment and Health Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Avd. för rehabilitering, HHJ, Hälsohögskolan, Högskolan i Jönköping.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1607-187X
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2010 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Previous studies have reported that disability is strongly associated with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and disability at time of diagnosis has also proved to be a consistent predictor of disability over time.Objectives: To investigate the course of disease activity and disability over 8 years in early RA and to analyse differences between women and men.Methods: 149 patients with disease duration <1 year were included in the Swedish early RA-cohort "TIRA". Patients were followed prospectively for 8 years from the time of diagnosis. Disease activity was assessed by DAS28. Disability was measured by pain (VAS), grip force (Grippit), 'grip ability test' (GAT), range of motion in hand, upper and lower extremity (SOFI), walking speed and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). Changes over time and differences between women and men were evaluated.Results: Disease activity decreased over time from inclusion to the 8-year follow-up for both women and men. Disability as measured by SOFI (hand, upper and lower extremity) and walking time was improved during the first year after diagnosis but at the 7 and 8 year follow-up, the level of disability was comparable to the level at inclusion. Pain, grip force and GAT were also improved during the first years but thereafter remained stable. HAQ scores were similar in men and women at inclusion. After initial improvement, HAQ remained at a stable level in men, while scores for women deteriorated from year 2 onwards and had reached back to baseline levels at 8 year follow-up. More disability in women than men was also seen in grip force whereas men had more disability than women in SOFI upper extremity. There were no significant differences between women and men in disease activity or disability as measured by VAS pain, GAT, SOFI hand or SOFI lower extremity during the 8-year follow-up.Conclusion: Although disease activity was well managed, disability deteriorated over 8 years with a less favourable course in women than men. Besides controlling disease activity, there is accordingly a need for regular assessments to detect and prevent progressing disability in RA-patients, not only in the early phase of disease, but also over the following years

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97495OAI: diva2:648022
EULAR 2010 Rome, Italy 16-19 June 2010
Available from: 2012-04-02 Created: 2013-09-13 Last updated: 2013-10-14

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Hallert, EvaBjörk, MathildaThyberg, Ingrid
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Rheumatology and Autoimmunity

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