Articular damage in late rheumatoid arthritis

Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Mar;26(3):314-8. doi: 10.1007/s10067-006-0293-3. Epub 2006 Apr 22.


This study aims to examine the long-term articular damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients according to rheumatoid arthritis articular damage (RAAD) score and to evaluate the parameters correlated with this score. The RAAD score was assessed in 85 RA patients who had the disease for more than 10 years. Patients were divided into three groups according to duration of the disease: group 1, 10-14 years; group 2, 15-19 years; and group 3, more than 20 years. Patients were also divided into three groups according to the time of initiation of treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs: group A, within the first 2 years, group B, between 2 and 5 years; and group C, after 5 years. We investigated the RAAD score relationship between groups 1, 2, 3; groups A, B, C; sex; drug compliance; age of onset of the disease; and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). We observed significant differences in RAAD scores according to groups 1, 2, 3 (p<0.01), but not to groups A, B, C; sex; or drug compliance (p>0.05). While the RAAD score correlated well with the HAQ (r=0.560, p<0.001), it did not correlate with the age at onset of the disease (p>0.05). As RA is not a benign disease and articular damage progresses over time, the goal of RA therapy must be to maintain a response before the onset of irreversible damage and loss of function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Deformities, Acquired / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Time Factors