Rheumatoid arthritis: which factors best predict lack of remission?


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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New findings presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018) suggest that obesity in women and current smoking in men are the strongest predictors of not achieving remission in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) within a year.

The study included 1,628 adults with classifiable RA, who were mostly female (72%) with a mean age of 55. Analysis found that among women, obesity more than doubled the likelihood of not achieving remission. Other key predictors were minority status, lower education, and higher tender joint counts and fatigue scores at baseline. In men, current smoking was associated with a 3.5 greater odds of not achieving remission in the first year, while other predictors included older age and higher pain. 

The analysis also demonstrated that not using methotrexate increased the likelihood of not achieving remission by 28 per cent in women and by 45 per cent in men. 

“These results highlight the need to support physicians and empower patients to take advantage of the impact lifestyle changes can have on disease progression," said Professor Johannes W. Bijlsma, EULAR President.