Scientific article
Open access

Lower odds of remission among women with rheumatoid arthritis: A cohort study in the Swiss Clinical Quality Management cohort

Published inPloS one, vol. 17, no. 10, e0275026
Publication date2022-10-20
First online date2022-10-20

Objective: To compare the likelihood of achieving remission between men and women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) after starting their first biologic or targeted synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (b/tsDMARD).

Methods: This cohort study in the Swiss Clinical Quality Management in Rheumatic Diseases (SCQM) registry included RA patients starting their first b/tsDMARD (1997-31/04/2018). The odds of achieving remission at ≤12-months, defined by disease activity score 28-joints (DAS28) <2.6, were compared between men and women. Secondary analyses were adjusted for age and seropositivity, and we investigated potential mediators or factors that could explain the main findings.

Results: The study included 2839 (76.3%) women and 883 (23.7%) men with RA. Compared to women, men were older at diagnosis and b/tsDMARD start, but had shorter time from diagnosis to b/tsDMARD (3.4 versus 5.0 years, p<0.001), and they had lower DAS28 at b/tsDMARD start. Compared to women, men had 21% increased odds of achieving DAS28-remission, with odds ratio (OR) 1.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.42. Adjusting for age and seropositivity yielded similar findings (adjusted OR 1.24, 95%CI 1.05-1.46). Analyses of potential mediators suggested that the observed effect may be explained by the shorter disease duration and lower DAS28 at treatment initiation in men versus women.

Conclusion: Men started b/tsDMARD earlier than women, particularly regarding disease duration and disease activity (DAS28), and had higher odds of reaching remission. This highlights the importance of early initiation of second line treatments, and suggests to target an earlier stage of disease in women to match the benefits observed in men.

  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Remission Induction
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
Citation (ISO format)
VALLEJO-YAGÜE, Enriqueta et al. Lower odds of remission among women with rheumatoid arthritis: A cohort study in the Swiss Clinical Quality Management cohort. In: PloS one, 2022, vol. 17, n° 10, p. e0275026. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0275026
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal1932-6203

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