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)
Number201020
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
Drugs
    Prednisolone200NA
    Prednisolone (mg/day)9 (3)0 (0)NA
    Methotrexate66NA
    NSAIDs92NA
    Leflunomide62NA
    Anti-TNF strategy33NA
    Sulfasalazine11NA
    Hydroxychloroquine10NA
    Cyclophosphamide00NA
    Azathioprine00NA
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)
Number221042
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
Drugs
    Prednisolone220NA
    Prednisolone (mg/day)14 (5)0 (0)NA
    Methotrexate10NA
    NSAIDs85NA
    Leflunomide00NA
    Anti-TNF strategyNANANA
    Sulfasalazine00NA
    Hydroxychloroquine30NA
    Cyclophosphamide10NA
    Azathioprine84NA