Clinical remission is the goal in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) management; however, this can be difficult to achieve in several parts of the world. Our objective was to determine predictors of remission and remission/low disease activity (LDA) in RA.
A longitudinal real-setting RA cohort was followed up (January 2016–2020). Predictors examined were sex, age at diagnosis, disease duration, socioeconomic status, tobacco use, rheumatoid factor titer, comorbidities (Charlson index), Simple Disease Activity Index (SDAI) score, disability (Multidimensional Disease Health Assessment Questionnaire), health-related quality of life (Short Form-36 questionnaire), glucocorticoid dose, biological/target synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and conventional DMARD (c-DMARD) use. Univariable and multivariable generalized estimating equation models were done to determine predictors of remission (at a given visit) and sustained remission (2 consecutives visits), using the SDAI definition (0 or <3.3). Similarly, remission/LDA (SDAI <11) predictors were examined.
Five hundred thirty RA patients included the following: 160 patients (30.2%) achieved remission in at least 1 visit, and 126 patients (23.77%) achieved sustained remission. On the multivariable analysis glucocorticoid dose (odds ratio [OR], 1.060; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.027–1.094; p = 0.004) and current (OR, 2.293; 95% CI, 1.811–2.903; p < 0.001) or past (OR, 1.383; 95% CI, 1.127–1.698; p = 0.002) use of c-DMARDs predicted remission/LDA in at least 1 visit, whereas the SDAI (OR, 0.951; 95% CI, 0.942–0.959; p < 0.001), Multidimensional Disease Health Assessment Questionnaire (OR, 0.648; 95% CI, 0.549–0.764; p < 0.001), and age at diagnosis (OR, 0.994; 95% CI, 0.990–0.998; p = 0.004) were negative predictors. As to sustained remission/LDA, current (OR, 2.012; 95% CI, 1.458–2.776: p < 0.001) or past (OR, 1.517; 95% CI, 1.155–1.993; p = 0.003) use of c-DMARDs, having a better Short Form-36 questionnaire physical component summary (OR, 1.022; 95% CI, 1.014–1.029; p < 0.001), and older age at diagnosis (OR, 1.013; 95% CI, 1.003–1.022; p = 0.008) predicted it, whereas SDAI (OR, 0.949; 95% CI, 0.933–0.965; p < 0.001) and medium low/low socioeconomic status (OR, 0.674; 95% CI, 0.500–0.909; p = 0.010) were negative predictors.
During follow-up of this real-world RA cohort, c-DMARD use predicted remission and remission/LDA. In contrast, disease activity was a negative predictor.