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Funding Kooperative Regionaler Rheumazentren (non-profit organisation in rheumatology) and Abbott Immunology Abbott GmbH & Co KG (unrestricted grant).
Competing interests SK received lecture fees from Abbott, Chugai, Essex, Roche (less than €2000 each). OK received lecture fees from Gilead (€1000), research grants from SIRS-Lab, Germany, honoraria from Abbott (€1000). JE received honoraria for lectures from Wyeth, “RG Gesellschaft für Information und Organisation mbH” and Novartis in 2008 and 2009. MF received lecture fees from Abbott, Chugai, Roche (less than €1000 each). JS received lecture fees from Bayer Healthcare, Bracco and GE (less than $2000 each), honoraria from Bayer Healthcare (less than $8000 each). HPT received speaking fees from Roche, Abbott, Essex, and Wyeth. CK received lecture fees from Abbott, Chugai, Essex, Oxford Immunotec (less than €1000), Roche, Wyeth, honoraria from Essex, UCB, Wyeth and research grants from Abbott, Wyeth.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the ethics committee of the University Hospital of Würzburg, Oberduerrbacher Str. 6, Würzburg, Germany.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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