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Effect of adherence to European treatment recommendations on early arthritis outcome: data from the ESPOIR cohort
  1. Cécile Escalas1,2,
  2. Marie Dalichampt2,
  3. Bernard Combe3,
  4. Bruno Fautrel4,
  5. Francis Guillemin5,
  6. Pierre Durieux6,
  7. Maxime Dougados7,
  8. Philippe Ravaud1,7,8
  1. 1INSERM U738, Paris, France
  2. 2Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, Hopital Cochin, Department of Rheumatology; University Paris Descartes –Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
  3. 3Department of Immunorhumatologie, CHU Lapeyronie, Montpellier, France
  4. 4Department of Rheumatology, Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI University, Paris, France
  5. 5Service d'épidémiologie et évaluation cliniques, Hopitaux de Brabois, Nancy, France
  6. 6Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, French Cochrane Center, Hopital Hotel Dieu, Paris, France
  7. 7Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris, Hôpital Hôtel Dieu,Centre d'épidémiologie Clinique ; University Paris Descartes – Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
  8. 8Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Philippe Ravaud, Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu, Centre d'Epidémiologie Clinique, Paris, France; philipperavaud{at}


Objective To assess the association of adherence to the 2007 recommendations of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) for managing early arthritis and radiographic progression and disability in patients

Methods The authors conducted a prospective population-based cohort study. The ESPOIR cohort was a French cohort of 813 patients with early arthritis not receiving disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Adherence to the 2007 EULAR recommendations was defined by measuring adherence to three of the recommendations concerning the initiation and early adjustment of DMARDs. The study endpoints were radiographic progression, defined as the presence of at least one new erosion between baseline and 1 year, and disability as a heath assessment questionnaire score ≥1 at 2 years. A propensity score of being treated according to the recommendations was developed.

Results After adjustment for propensity score, treatment centre and the main confounding factors, patients without recommendation adherence were at increased risk of radiographic progression at 1 year, and of functional impairment at 2 years (OR 1.98, (95% CI: 1.08 to 3.62 and OR: 2.36, (95% CI: 1.17 to 4.67), respectively).

Conclusions Early arthritis patients whose treatment adhered to the 2007 EULAR recommendations seemed to benefit from such treatment in terms of risk of clinical and radiographic progression. Using a propensity score of being treated according to recommendations in observational studies may be useful in assessing the potential impact of these recommendations on outcome.

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  • Competing interests None.

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