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Table 2 Study design factors within observational studies and their influence on relative risk of infection associated with glucocorticoid therapy

From: The association between systemic glucocorticoid therapy and the risk of infection in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: systematic review and meta-analyses

  Number of studies Mean RR I2 statistic Ratio of RR
Study design     
   Cohort 33 1.55 (1.35, 1.79) 71.3% 1.00 (referent)
   Case-control 9 1.95 (1.61, 2.36) 79.4% 1.26
Definition of exposure     
   Baseline 5 1.46 (0.87, 2.45) 79.7% 1.00 (referent)
   Current (within 3/12) 22 1.70 (1.47, 1.97) 58.9% 1.16
   Recent (within 6/12) 7 1.56 (1.24, 1.96) 79.5% 1.07
   Ever 2 1.80 (1.29, 2.51) 52.5% 1.23
   Unclear 6 2.35 (1.27, 4.36) 36.5% 1.61
Adjusted for age and sex     
   No 22 1.32 (0.97, 1.80) 67.6% 1.00 (referent)
   Yes 19 1.78 (1.58, 2.01) 82.3% 1.35
Adjusted for disease severity     
   No 24 1.41 (1.14, 1.75) 71.3% 1.00 (referent)
   Adjusted for surrogate 10 1.98 (1.68, 2.34) 78.5% 1.40
   Adjusted for direct measurement 6 1.52 (1.17, 1.97) 77.0% 1.08
Adjusted for disease duration     
   No 33 1.63 (1.41, 1.89) 76.8% 1.00(referent)
   Yes 6 1.55 (1.20, 2.01) 83.5% 0.95
Adjusted for comorbidity     
   No 22 1.30 (0.97, 1.74) 64.2% 1.00 (referent)
   Yes 17 1.74 (1.55, 1.96) 75.1% 1.34
Adjusted for other RA therapies     
   No 22 1.28 (0.98, 1.67) 61.1% 1.00 (referent)
   Yes 18 1.84 (1.62, 2.08) 82.8% 1.44
  1. RR, relative risk.