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Abstract

Objective

To determine whether men with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are more likely to achieve remission compared to women.

Methods

RA patients enrolled in the Consortium of Rheumatology Researchers of North America (CORRONA) cohort between October 2001 and January 2010 were selected for the present analyses. Detailed clinical, demographic, and drug utilization data were available at enrollment (baseline) and at subsequent followup visits. We examined the influence of sex on the Clinical Disease Activity Index remission score (≤2.8) using sustained remission or point remission as the primary outcome measure in multivariate stepwise logistic regression models. We stratified the data by RA duration at baseline (≤2 years or >2 years) to investigate whether RA duration had differential effects on remission in men and women.

Results

A total of 10,299 RA patients (2,406 men and 7,893 women) were available for this study. In both early and established RA, women had more severe disease at baseline with worse disease activity measures, modified Health Assessment Questionnaire disability index score, pain on a visual analog scale, and depression. Women were also more likely to have been treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and anti–tumor necrosis factor therapy compared to men. In the regression models, male sex was associated with sustained remission in early RA (odds ratio [OR] 1.38, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.07–1.78, P = 0.01), but not in established RA. However, for point remission, an inverse association was observed with male sex in established RA (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.48–0.87, P = 0.005) and not in early RA.

Conclusion

Within the large real-life CORRONA cohort of RA patients, men were more likely to achieve sustained remission compared to women in early RA, although not in established RA.