Table 1

Baseline patient and treatment characteristics

Disease characteristicsRTX (n = 155)Alternative aTNF (n = 163)p Value
Age (years), mean (95% CI)55 (53 to 57)55 (53 to 57)0.70
Gender, male (%)23220.77
Educational level (years), median (IQR)*12 (9–12)12 (9–12)0.18
RF (%)88770.02
Disease duration (years), mean (95% CI)†11.9 (10.5 to 3.2)10.7 (9.5 to 11.8)0.18
Disease activity (DAS28), mean (95% CI)4.99 (4.8 to 5.2)4.08 (3.9 to 4.3)<0.001
Functional disability (HAQ), median (IQR)‡1.60 (1.10–2.00)1.42 (0.96–1.85)0.03
Concomitant DMARD use§
    Methotrexate (%)67610.20
    Leflunomide (%)17190.72
    Other DMARDs (%)630.32
    None (%)18190.83
Glucocorticoids (%)¶58550.71
Previous aTNF agents (n), median (IQR)2 (1–2)1 (1–1)<0.001
    Single previous aTNF agent (%)4388<0.001
    Two or more previous aTNF agents (%)5712<0.001
Cause of previous aTNF interruption**
    Ineffectiveness (%)8251<0.001
    Adverse events (%)24330.09
    Other (%)318<0.001
  • *Educational level, total number of years of school and college; †disease duration, disease duration at inclusion in years; ‡HAQ missing in 89 patients (28%); §The DMARD percentages represent the use of each co-therapy DMARD at baseline; patients could receive more than one DMARD co-therapy, which explains why the total may exceed 100%. ¶Glucocorticoids, concomitant low dose oral glucocorticoids; **Patients could discontinue aTNF owing to ineffectiveness (primary or secondary aTNF resistance), owing to adverse events or for other motives (patient preference, pregnancy wish, prolonged travel, etc). The total may exceed 100% because more then one cause could motivate aTNF interruption or different causes might have motivated aTNF discontinuations when patients had received more then one aTNF that had failed.

  • aTNF, tumour necrosis factor antagonist; DAS28, 28-joint count Disease Activity Score; DMARD, disease-modifying antirheumatic drug; HAQ, Health Assessment Questionnaire; RF, rheumatoid factor; RTX, rituximab.