Table 2

 Baseline characteristics of patients with remission and patients without remission during four years follow up.

VariablePatients without a period of remission (n = 283)Patients with ⩾1 period of remission (n = 142)p Value
ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; HAQ, health assessment questionnaire; VAS, visual analogue scale.
Age (years), median5660<0.05
    Mean (SD)55 (14)58 (15)
Female sex71%65%NS
ESR (mm/h), median3734NS
    Mean (SD)42 (27)42 (29)
Morning stiffness (min), median9060<0.05
    Mean (SD)113 (130)94 (122)
Pain (mm), median5030<0.0001
    Mean (SD)50 (26)35 (21)
Joint score (Thompson), median127113NS
    Mean (SD)153 (110)132 (95)
Rheumatoid factor positive74%54%<0.0001
VAS, general wellbeing (mm), median5247<0.0001
    Mean (SD)53 (24)43 (28)
Grip strength (kPa), median2732<0.01
    Mean (SD)30 (20)36 (21)
Functional disability (HAQ), median1.41.0<0.01
    Mean (SD)1.4 (0.7)1.2 (0.8)
Radiographic damage (Sharp/ van der Heijde score), median2.02.5NS
    Mean (SD)5 (8)5 (8)