Table 1

 Basic characteristics of patients and healthy controls. Values demonstrate data of patients with and without prior prednisolone treatment. Data of healthy controls were not stratified because the entire group matched in age and sex to the respective patient subgroup

Rheumatoid arthritisHealthy controls
With prior prednisolone treatmentWithout prior prednisolone treatment
Comparison of patients with RA and healthy subjects (age/sex matched)
Age (years)58 (3)51 (5)52 (1)
Sex (F/M)13/76/410/10
Disease duration (years)12 (2)9 (3)NA
Number of swollen joints6 (2)1 (1)NA
Number of painful joints8 (2)4 (3)NA
ESR (mm/1st h)32 (4)21 (8)NM
    Prednisolone (mg/day)9 (3)0 (0)NA
    Anti-TNF strategy33NA
Systemic lupus erythematosus
With prior prednisolone treatmentWithout prior prednisolone treatmentHealthy controls
Anti-TNF strategies are either infliximab or etanercept. Prednisolone treatment was not interrupted during 24 hour collection of urine.
Data are given as means (SEM) or as number of patients/controls.
ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; NA, not applicable; NM, not measured; NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus; SLEDAI, SLE Disease Activity Index.
Comparison of patients with SLE and healthy subjects (age/sex matched)
Age (years)35 (2)45 (5)37 (2)
Sex (F/M)18/46/425/17
Disease duration (years)8 (2)9 (3)NA
SLEDAI (points)11 (2)11 (2)NA
ESR (mm/1st h)30 (4)18 (3)NM
    Prednisolone (mg/day)14 (5)0 (0)NA
    Anti-TNF strategyNANANA