Remission in a prospective study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. American Rheumatism Association preliminary remission criteria in relation to the disease activity score

Br J Rheumatol. 1996 Nov;35(11):1101-5. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/35.11.1101.


In a prospective follow-up study of patients with early-onset rheumatoid arthritis, the prevalence of remission according to the 1981 American Rheumatism Association (ARA) preliminary criteria was evaluated. A total of 227 patients with a median follow-up of 3.9 yr and a total of 2832 follow-up visits were studied. The ARA remission criteria were fulfilled in 9.5% of these visits. The percentage of patients with at least one visit fulfilling the ARA criteria was for years 2-6 approximately 25%. Each year, approximately 15% of the patients were in remission for at least two consecutive visits. A comparison was made between the ARA remission criteria and the Disease Activity Score (DAS). DAS < 1.6 corresponded with being in remission according to the ARA criteria. The DAS is being proposed as a tool to define remission because absence of disease activity should be measured using the same method as for higher levels of disease activity, preferably on a continuous scale.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Remission Induction