Table 1

 Baseline demographic characteristics, clinical characteristics, and changes in treatment over time for each of the four treatment groups

Variable and range of valuesHCQ (n = 169)im Gold (n = 163)MTX (n = 166)Pyramid (n = 64)
Values are means (SD) for continuous variables and n (%) for categorical variables.
DMARD, disease modifying antirheumatic drug; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; HAQ, health assessment questionnaire; HCQ, hydroxychloroquine; im, intramuscular; MTX, methotrexate; NA, not applicable; VAS, visual analogue scale.
Age (years)57 (14)55 (15)56 (14)56 (14)
Sex (n (%) female)120 (71%)112 (69%)114 (69%)46 (72%)
Morning stiffness (min) (0 to 720)122 (158)97 (96)120 (145)90 (137)
VAS general wellbeing (mm) (0 to 100 = worst score)50 (27)51 (25)50 (25)49 (27)
VAS pain (0 to 100 = worst score)48 (28)46 (28)46 (27)42 (27)
Joint score (Thompson) (0 to 534 = worst score)144 (107)148 (102)152 (105)130 (106)
ESR (mm/h) (1 to 140)40 (27)42 (27)43 (30)38 (28)
Rheumatoid factor (n (%) of patients testing positive)114 (68%)98 (61%)111 (68%)38 (60%)
Functional disability (HAQ) (0 to 3 = worst score)1.4 (0.7)1.3 (0.8)1.2 (0.7)1.3 (0.7)
Radiological damage (Sharp/van der Heijde) (0 to 448)5 (8)4 (5)5 (9)4 (7)
Replacement of initial DMARD:
    Second defined DMARD in protocol (n (%))50 (30%)42 (26%)27 (16%)NA
    DMARD other than defined in protocol (n (%))56 (33%)39 (24%)37 (22%)52 (81%)
    No DMARD (n (%))23 (14%)51 (31%)38 (23%)NA
Continuation of the first DMARD (n (%))40 (24%)31 (19%)64 (39%)12 (19%)
Time until start of:
    Second DMARD (months)12 (6)11 (4)17 (12)NA
    DMARD other than defined in protocol (months)22 (18)25 (16)30 (24)14 (13)
    No DMARD (months)23 (14)19 (14)25 (18)NA
Duration of initial DMARD use (months)55 (26)48 (21)55 (25)21 (22)
Percentage of follow up time during which patients use the initially allocated DMARD49 (36)45 (34)63 (37)36 (35)