Objective To compare the juvenile arthritis disease activity score (JADAS) based on C reactive protein (CRP) (JADAS-CRP) with JADAS based on erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (JADAS-ESR) and to validate JADAS in a population-based setting.
Methods The CRP and ESR values and the corresponding JADAS scores (JADAS10/27/71) were compared in a longitudinal cohort study of 389 children newly diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in the Nordic JIA study. The construct validity and the discriminative and predictive ability of JADAS were assessed during a median disease course of 8 years by comparing JADAS with other measures of disease activity and outcome.
Results At the first study visit the correlation between JADAS27-CRP and JADAS27-ESR was r=0.99 whereas the correlation between CRP and ESR was r=0.57. Children with higher JADAS scores had an increased risk of concomitant pain, physical disability and use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). A higher JADAS score at the first study visit also significantly predicted physical disability, damage and no remission off medication at the final study visit, and also use of DMARDs during the disease course. Sensitivity to change, demonstrated as change in JADAS score compared with the American College of Rheumatology paediatric measures of improvement criteria, mostly showed excellent classification ability.
Conclusion The JADAS-CRP and JADAS-ESR correlate closely, show similar test characteristics and are feasible and valid tools for assessing disease activity in JIA.
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