Table 1

Baseline characteristics of the patients

CharacteristicsTotal population
(n=101)
ContinuationTaperingStoppingp Values
Arm 1
(n=38)
Arm 2
(n=36)
Arm 3
(n=27)
Age, years57.0 (19)59.0 (20)56.5 (18)56.0 (21)0.977
Female gender, % (N)61.4 (62)52.6 (20)61.1(22)74.1(20)0.219
Disease duration, years5.0 (7)5.5 (7)6.0 (6)3.0 (5)0.048
Remission duration, months12.0 (12)12.0 (27)9.0 (12)12.0 (10)0.126
DAS28, Units1.91 (0.85)1.8 (1.0)1.9 (0.8)2.0 (0.8)0.464
ACR/EULAR remission, % (N)77.2 (78)78.9 (30)75.0 (27)77.8 (21)0.790
Tender joint count 28, N0.0 (0)0.0 (0)0.0 (0)0.0 (0)0.351
Swollen joint count 28, N0.0 (0)0.0 (0)0.0 (0)0.0 (0)0.740
VAS patient global, mm0.0 (6)0.3 (8)0.0 (6)0.0 (5)0.525
ESR, mm13.0 (14)9.0 (16)13.0 (13)14.0 (9)0.693
CRP, mg/dL0.28 (0.24)0.24 (0.23)0.29 (0.35)0.29 (0.22)0.403
HAQ, Units0.0 (0.25)0.0 (0.13)0.0 (0.25)0.0 (0.19)0.730
Positive RF, % (N)63.4 (64)55.3 (21)69.4 (25)66.7 (18)0.446
Positive ACPA, % (N)59.4 (60)60.5 (23)55.6 (20)63.0 (17)0.966
Methotrexate Use, % (N)82.2 (83)86.8 (33)69.4 (25)92.6 (25)0.048
Other DMARD* Use, % (N)9.9 (10)7.9 (3)13.9 (5)7.4 (2)0.699
Biological DMARD† Use, % (N)40.6 (41)42.1 (16)50.0 (18)25.9 (7)0.152
  • Significant values are shown in bold typeface.

  • *Leflunomide, sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine.

  • †Tumour necrosis factor inhibitors and tocilizumab; Data show medians and IQRs.

  • ACPA, anticitrullinated protein antibodies; ACR, American College of Rheumatology; CRP, C-reactive protein; DAS28, disease activity score 28 (based on ESR); DMARDs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; EULAR, European League Against Rheumatism; HAQ, health assessment questionnaire; RF, rheumatoid factor; VAS, visual analogue scale.