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Table 4 Demographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics of the study population (NCEP 2004 definition used)

From: Methotrexate therapy associates with reduced prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in rheumatoid arthritis patients over the age of 60- more than just an anti-inflammatory effect? A cross sectional study

  Total (n = 387) MetS present (n = 156) MetS abscent
(n = 232)
P value
General demographics     
   Age (years) 63.1 (55.5 to 69.6) 65.3 (58.2 to 69.8) 61.4 (51.9 to 75.4) 0.001
   Sex female n (%) 282 (72.9) 110 (71) 172 (74.1) 0.429
RA characteristics     
   General characteristics     
   RF positive n (%) 287 (75.9) 121 (79.1) 166 (73.8) 0.236
   Anti-CCP positive n (%) 250 (67.6) 101 (68.2) 149 (67.1) 0.821
   Disease duration (years) 10 (4 to 18) 9 (4 to 18.5) 10 (4 to 17) 0.008
   Disease activity     
   CRP (mg/L) 8 (5 to 20) 9 (5 to 20) 8 (4 to 18) 0.155
   ESR 21 (9 to 37) 23 (15 to 40) 18 (8 to 32) 0.006
   DAS28 4.2 +/- 1.4 4.25 +/- 1.29 4.14 +/- 1.44 0.437
   Disease severity     
   HAQ 1.5 (0.63 to 2.13) 1.63 (0.88 to 2.25) 1.5 (0.38 to 2) 0.036
   EAD n (%) 257 (66.4) 11 (71.6) 146 (62.9) 0.076
   Joint replacement surgery n (%) 276 (71.3) 110 (71) 166 (71.6) 0.901
Medication     
   Methotrexate n (%) 218 (56.0) 72 (46.5) 148 (63.8) 0.001
   Sulphasalazine n (%) 114 (29.5) 46 (29.7) 68 (29.3) 0.938
   Hydroxychloroquine n (%) 77 (19.9) 26 (16.8) 51 (22) 0.209
   Anti-TNF n (%) 45 (11.6) 20 (12.9) 25 (10.8) 0.522
   Leflunomide n (%) 16 (4.1) 8 (5.2) 8 (3.4) 0.407
   Prednisol medium dose n (%) 56 (14.5) 28 (12.1) 28 (18.1) 0.241
   NSAIDs/COX-II n (%) 108 (27.9) 37 (23.9) 71 (30.6) 0.148
   Anti-hypertensives n (%) 171 (44.2) 107 (69) 64 (24.6) < 0.001
   Statin/fibrate n (%) 83 (21.4) 80 (51.6) 3 (1.3) < 0.001
Risk factors for the MetS     
   Waist (cm) 97.7 +/- 13.13 103.5 +/- 13.13 93.8 +/- 11.69 < 0.001
   Triglycerides (mmol/L) 1.2 (1 to 1.6) 1.5 (1.1 to 2.1) 1.1 (0.9 to 1.4) < 0.001
   Systolic BP (mmHg) 140 (127 to 154.5) 144 (132.5 to 159.5) 65.3 (58.1 to 69.8) < 0.001
   Diastolic BP (mmHg) 78.9 +/- 11.18 79.68 +/- 11.14 78.56 +/- 11.05 0.331
   HDL (mmol/L) 1.6 (1.3 to 1.8) 1.4 (1.1 to 1.7) 1.6 (1.4 to 1.9) < 0.001
   Insulin resistance n (%) 140 (37.2) 87 (62.1) 53 (37.9) < 0.001
Criteria for MetS     
   WaistM n(%) 230 (65.7) 122 (86.5) 108 (51.7) < 0.001
TriglyceridesM n(%) 147 (38) 125 (80.6) 22 (9.5) < 0.001
   HypertensionM n(%) 311 (80.4) 151 (97.4) 160 (69) < 0.001
   HDLM n(%) 136 (35.1) 116 (74.8) 20 (8.6) < 0.001
   FPGM1 n(%) 57 (14.8) 47 (30.5) 10 (4.3) < 0.001
   Albumin/Creatinine ratio 42 (10.9) 21 (10.6) 21 (14.6) 0.269
  1. Results expressed as percentages, median (25th to 75th percentile values) or mean ± standard deviation as appropriate. insulin resistance = homeostasis model assessment ≥ 2.5 or quantitative insulin sensitivity check index = 0.333; waist M = waist circumference > 102 cm in males and > 88 cm in females; triglyceridesM = triglycerides ≥ 1.7 mmol/L or on drug treatment for elevated triglycerides, hypertensionM = systolic BP ≥ 130/85 mmHg or on antihypertensive medication; HDLM = high-density lipoprotein level < 1.0 mmol/L in males or < 1.3 mmol/L in females; FPGM = fasting plasma glucose ≥ 6.1 or on drug treatment for elevated blood glucose.
  2. anti-CCP = anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide; BP = blood pressure; COX-II = cyclooxygenase II inhibitors; CRP = C-reactive protein; DAS = Disease Activity Score; EAD = extra-articular disease; ESR = erythrocyte sedimentation rate; HAQ = Health Assessment Questionnaire; HDL = high-density lipoprotein; MetS = metabolic syndrome; NCEP = National Cholesterol Education Programme; NSAIDs = non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; RA = rheumatoid arthritis; RF = rheumatoid factor; TG = triglycerides; TNF = tumour necrosis factor.