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HAQ score is an independent predictor of sustained remission in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

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A Correspondence to this article was published on 17 October 2017


We assessed potential predictors of sustained remission for 2 years according to the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28)-CRP in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We obtained data for 290 RA outpatients, from July 2009 to September 2012. Sociodemographic data and answers to questionnaires were collected in face-to-face interviews. Remission was defined according to DAS28-CRP. Sustained remission was defined as meeting criteria for remission in the annual assessment for two consecutive years. Predictive factors of sustained remission according to DAS28-CRP were assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Of the 290 RA patients, the baseline remission level, according to DAS28-CRP, was 54.5%. During 2 years of follow-up, the sustained remission rate was 24.5%. RA patients who achieved sustained remission, according to DAS28-CRP, were younger, and had a shorter duration of symptoms, longer period of education, higher monthly income, lower Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score, lower physician global assessment, lower patient global assessment, lower patient pain assessment, and higher EQ-5D at baseline. Multivariate analyses showed that the baseline HAQ score was independently associated with sustained remission for 2 years according to DAS28-CRP (OR 0.298, 95% CI 0.115–0.770; p = 0.012). A lower HAQ score at baseline was an independent predictor of sustained remission at 2 years, according to DAS28-CRP. Thus, HAQ scores could be useful when stratifying patients according to risk for flare-ups in the clinic.

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The authors thank the patients and their families for their participation.

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Correspondence to Shin-Seok Lee.

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This research complied with the Helsinki Declaration. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of CNUH (I-2009-05-049) and informed consent was obtained at the time of registry enrollment.

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The authors declare that they do not have conflict of interests.


This study was supported by Celltrion Korea and Bitgoeul Chonnam National University Hospital (BCRI16001-52).

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Lee, KE., Choi, SE., Xu, H. et al. HAQ score is an independent predictor of sustained remission in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int 37, 2027–2034 (2017).

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