MONDAY, July 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Six-month sustained remission (SR) is not uncommon in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to research published online July 12 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Wenhui Xie, from Peking University First Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues reviewed medical records of 779 RA patients (2009 to 2016) to measure the prevalence and predictors of SR.

The researchers found that 51.6 percent of patients achieved six-month SR based on Disease Activity Score in 28 joints using erythrocyte sedimentation rate, 45.6 percent achieved six-month SR using the Clinical Disease Activity Index, 44 percent using the Simplified Disease Activity Index, and 42.4 percent with the Boolean criteria. Using these criteria, median time periods to six-month SR were 20.5, 28.7, 30.6, and 32.9 months, respectively. Depending on the criteria, between 29.4 and 41.2 percent of patients achieved six-month SR at least once in the first year of follow-up. Increasing age, longer disease duration, and higher baseline disease activity were independently correlated with a reduced likelihood of six-month SR using nearly all definitions. Male sex, having early RA, being disease-modifying antirheumatic drug-naive, and having lower disease activity scores in remission were positively associated with SR. Additionally, treat-to-target adherence therapy and shorter time to remission were stable predictors of SR across all definitions.

“This study showed that achieving six-month SR was not uncommon in daily practice, but most patients cannot maintain remission status over time,” the authors write.

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