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Joint destruction in early rheumatoid arthritis over 8 years is similar in women and men despite apparently higher disease activity and poorer function in women
  1. Ingiäld Hafström1,
  2. Valentina Bala2,
  3. Kristina Albertsson1,
  4. Kristina Forslind2,3,
  5. Björn Svensson3,
  6. for the BARFOT study group
  1. 1Rheumatology Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, Helsingborg Hospital, Helsingborg, Sweden
  3. 3Section of Rheumatology, Institution of Clinical Science, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ingiäld Hafström, Rheumatology Department, R92, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden; ingiald.hafstrom{at}

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Recently, we have reported from the BARFOT early (duration <1 year) rheumatoid arthritis study that over the first 5 years women had, compared with men, a similar degree of joint destruction despite a higher Disease Activity Score calculated on 28 joints (DAS28) and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ).1 However, a recent study of another rheumatoid arthritis cohort demonstrated that female gender was an independent predictor of radiographic progression over 10 years.2 ,3 A possible explanation for this discrepancy may be the different length of follow-up. Therefore, we have extended our study to a follow-up time of 8 years.

In all, 416 of the initial 549 patients were assessed. Of these 64.7% were women, of whom 54.4% were anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody positive and 58.2% were rheumatoid factor …

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  • The BARFOT study group M Ahlmén, M Andersson, S Bergman, K Dackhammar, K Forslind, I Hafström, C Keller, I Leden, B Lindell, I Petersson, C Schaufelberger, M Söderlin, B Svensson, A Teleman and J Theander.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Karolinska Institutet.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.