Disease status, costs and quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in France: the ECO-PR Study

Joint Bone Spine. 2008 Jul;75(4):408-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2007.07.015. Epub 2008 May 2.


Objective: To investigate resource consumption and quality of life (utility) in a sample of patients covering the full spectrum of the disease, modalities of patient management and geographic areas.

Methods: Information on demographics, disease parameters, work capacity and resource consumption (in the past 1, 3 or 12 months depending on the resource) was collected in an anonymous mail survey from all members of a national patient association (ANDAR). Results are presented for the sample and by level of functional capacity, in 2005 euro.

Results: 1487 patients were included in the analysis (response rate 49%). Mean age was 62.7 years and 83.5% of respondents were female. Mean disease duration was 18 years; mean HAQ was 1.42; fatigue and pain ranked 5.6 and 4.8 on a scale between 0 and 10, respectively. Of patients below 60 years, 34% had taken early retirement due to RA, and only 15% of patients with a HAQ of 2 or higher were working. Productivity losses were estimated at 5076 euro, of which indemnity payments covered 1944 euro. Direct health care costs were 11,757 euro in the societal perspective and 9216 euro in the perspective of the national health insurance. Direct non-medical costs (including informal care) were 4857 euro and 136 euro respectively. Costs to society increased from 9400 euro in mild disease to 40,700 euro in severe disease, and to public payers from 6000 euro to 19,000 euro. Utility decreased simultaneously from 0.80 to 0.06.

Conclusion: The study confirms overall findings in other studies in other countries, and provides the first estimate of all costs by disease severity in France.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / economics*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Efficiency
  • Employment
  • Female
  • France
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index