Table 2 Characteristics of all subjects
CriteriaAll, n (%)SHORT (symptoms ⩽6 months), n (%)LONG (symptoms >6 months), n (%)
N29279 (27)213 (73)
Female239 (82)64 (81)175 (82)
Mean age at onset of arthritis symptoms, years (min–max)50 (17–87)55 (20–87)47 (17–81)
Mean age at baseline, years (min–max)54 (19–88)55 (20–88)53 (19–88)
Mean duration of follow-up: Baseline to first follow-up visit, months (min–max)2.8 (0.1–26.3)2.5 (0.1–21.4)2.9 (0.1–26.3)
Mean duration of follow-up: baseline to most recent visit, months (min–max)9.3 (0.1–34.9)8.5 (0.1–31.7)9.5 (0.1–34.9)
Morning stiffness >1 h*111 (38)30 (38)81 (38)
Arthritis of ⩾3 joint areas*126 (43)30 (38)96 (45)
Arthritis of hand joints*139 (48)37 (47)102 (48)
Symmetric arthritis*123 (42)31 (39)92 (42)
Rheumatoid factor positive50 (17)14 (18)36 (17)
Rheumatoid nodules†4 (8)04 (11)
Radiographic erosions‡35 (16)3 (6)32 (20)
Anti-CCP positive40 (14)9 (11)33 (15)
Initial rheumatologist diagnosis
    Not RA150 (51)41 (52)109 (51)
    Possible/probable RA100 (34)36 (56)64 (30)
    Definite RA42 (14)2 (3)40 (19)
Rheumatologist diagnosis at most recent follow-up
    Not RA170 (58)50 (63)120 (56)
    Possible/probable RA44 (15)13 (16)31 (15)
    Definite RA78 (27)16 (20)62 (29)
  • CCP, cyclic citrullinated peptide; RA, rheumatoid arthritis.

  • *Arthritis symptoms for ⩾6 weeks at initial visit.

  • †Documented in 50 subjects, percentages reflect percentage of documented cases.

  • ‡Documented in 210 subjects, percentages reflect percentage of documented cases.