Conference Coverage

Aim for remission, not low disease activity, in rheumatoid arthritis

 

Key clinical point: Better outcomes were achieved if patients with rheumatoid arthritis met criteria for remission rather than low disease activity.

Major finding: The study showed clear differences in functional and quality of life outcomes over time when comparing patients who achieved remission with those who achieved low disease activity.

Study details: A prospective study of 2,701 patients enrolled in two early rheumatoid arthritis cohorts.

Disclosures: Dr. Norton and his coauthors had nothing to disclose.

Source: Nikiphorou E et al. Rheumatology. 2018;57[Suppl. 3]:key075.189.


 

REPORTING FROM RHEUMATOLOGY 2018

When treating to target in rheumatoid arthritis, the aim should be to get patients into remission and not just achieve low disease activity, according to the conclusion of a study presented at the British Society for Rheumatology annual conference.

The study showed clear differences in functional and quality of life outcomes over time when comparing patients who achieved remission with those who achieved low disease activity.

Dr. Sam Norton of King's College, London Sara Freeman/MDedge News

Dr. Sam Norton

Not only were better scores on the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) seen if remission were achieved rather than low disease activity, but also better scores were recorded using the Short Form–36 (SF-36) mental component and physical components.

Indeed, from baseline assessments to 12 months follow-up, HAQ scores fell from an average of about 0.8 for those in remission and 0.9 for those with a low disease activity index to approximately 0.4 and 0.6, respectively.

The physical component score of the SF-36 also improved from around 35 and 30 at baseline in the remission and low disease activity groups to just above 40 and just under 35, respectively, at 12 months.

Baseline SF-36 mental component scores were around 51 and 49 in each group, respectively, at baseline but improved to around 55 with remission and remained steady in the low disease activity group at 12 months.

“This is something you often don’t see,” observed Sam Norton, PhD, who presented the findings on behalf of the lead author Elena Nikiphorou, MD. Dr. Norton is a senior lecturer in the department of health psychology at King’s College London whose research interests lie in studying the psychological well-being and illness outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic physical illnesses.

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