Patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the Australian OPAL cohort show significant improvement in disease activity over 5 years: A multicenter observational study

Geoffrey Owen Littlejohn, Lynden Roberts, Paul Bird, Julien de Jager, Hedley Griffiths, Dave Nicholls, Jane Zochling, Kathleen E Tymms

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate disease activity trends in a large cohort of Australian patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from 2009 to 2014. METHODS: This is a multicenter, cross-sectional, noninterventional study of patients with RA treated in Australia. Patients with RA treated at participating OPAL (Optimising Patient outcome in Australian RheumatoLogy) clinics were included in the study. Data, deidentified by patient, clinic, and clinician, were identified using a purpose-written electronic medical record. Patient demographics, disease onset, medications, and disease measures were analyzed. The Disease Activity Score at 28 joints (DAS28) was used to classify patients into the disease activity states of remission: low disease activity, moderate disease activity (MDA), and high disease activity. Choice of therapy was at the discretion of the treating clinician. RESULTS: At the time of analysis, the database contained 15,679 patients with RA, 8998 of whom fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Mean age was 63.2 years, mean disease duration was 13.8 years, and the majority were women (72.4 ). A total of 37,274 individual DAS28-erythrocyte sedimentation rate scores were recorded for the 8998 patients. The frequency of remission increased significantly from 36.7 in 2009 to 53.5 in 2014 (p <0.001), and that of MDA decreased from 33 (2009) to 22.2 (2014). The use of biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs for the patients in remission increased from 17 in 2009 to 36.9 in 2014. CONCLUSION: Contemporary management of RA in Australia shows improvements in disease activity toward the target of remission over a 5-year period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1603 - 1609
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Rheumatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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