Background Glucocorticoids play a pivotal role in managing rheumatoid arthritis due to their anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties.1 A clinically relevant reduction of morning stiffness was observed with the modified-release prednisone tablet compared to conventional immediate-release prednisone.2
Objectives This non-interventional study (NIS) investigated the functional ability in patients treated with low-dose prednisone in daily practice. In addition, improvement of Quality of Life was also assessed in terms of daily performance.
Methods Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (n=2661) were included in this 3-month non-interventional study. This analysis addresses a subgroup of patients treated by general practitioners. Data were recorded at three visits (baseline, at 6 and 12 weeks/study end). The primary endpoint was change of functional ability from baseline utilising the Questionnaire on Activity Status QAS (Numeric Rating Scale: 0 – 100 = severely impaired – completely unimpaired) for 3 parameters (occupational performance, household duties, leisure activities). The second endpoint daily performance was documented using a Visual Analogue Scale VAS (0 – 10 = least daily performance - full daily performance). Laboratory assessments included hematologic and inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein CRP, erythrocyte sedimentation rate ESR).
Results The subgroup consisted of 928 patients (Ø age 62 years, 70% female) treated with modified-release prednisone. The mean total QAS score of these patients increased markedly from 45.5 to 73.7. The three QAS single dimensions improvement was comparable. Occupational performance increased from 56.7 to 80.5, household duties from 46.8 to 74.0 and leisure activities from 40.4 to 71.0. Median daily performance improved from 5 to 8 on the VAS. Median CRP decreased from 8.3 mg/dl to 5.0 mg/dl and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate decreased from 28 mm/h to 15 mm/h at the end of the NIS.
Conclusions In this non-interventional study patients treated with modified-release prednisone tablets benefited from better functional ability and Quality of Life being shown under daily practice conditions. These results add to those obtained from previous clinical studies.
Buttgereit F et al. EULAR Compendium on Rheumatic Diseases 2009.
Buttgereit F et al. Lancet 2008.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared