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Table 2 DMARDs and oral glucocorticoid use among subjects with rheumatoid arthritis in the MCBS, 2001 to 2006

From: Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey

  2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Number of patients 291 334 316 244 148 70
Any DMARDS 82 (28%) 83 (25%) 85 (27%) 88 (36%) 55(37%) 25 (36%)
Non-biologic DMARD 80 (27%) 82 (25%) 80 (25%) 85 (35%) 51 (35%) 22 (31%)
   Methotrexate 49 (17%) 47 (14%) 42 (13%) 50 (20%) 31 (21%) 12 (17%)
   Sulfasalazine 8 (3%) 5 (2%) 7 (2%) 5 (2%) 1 (0.5%) 1 (0.5%)
   Hydroxychloroquine 25 (9%) 29 (9%) 29 (9%) 27 (11%) 15 (10%) 9 (13%)
   Azathioprine 5 (2%) 3 (1%) 2 (1%) 3 (1%) 2 (1%) 0 (0%)
   Leflunomide 6 (2%) 11 (3%) 12 (4%) 13 (5%) 8 (5%) 2 (3%)
   Gold 0 (0%) 1 (0.3%) 2 (0.6%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (1.4%)
   Others 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (0.4%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Biologic DMARD, any 6 (2%) 5 (2%) 11 (3%) 10 (4%) 14 (9%) 5 (7%)
   Etanercept 3 (1%) 4 (1%) 8 (3%) 5 (2%) 6 (4%) 3 (4%)
   Adalimumab 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (1%) 3 (1%) 7 (5%) 2 (3%)
   Infliximab 3 (1%) 1 (0.3%) 1 (0.3%) 2 (0.8%) 1 (07%) 0 (0%)
   Anakinra 0 (0%) 1 (0.3%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Oral steroid use, any 89 (31%) 94 (28%) 97 (31%) 82 (34%) 54(36%) 26 (37%)
Oral steroid use, only 50 (17%) 60 (18%) 60 (21%) 50 (18%) 41 (28%) 20 (29%)
  1. Results are presented as number (%) of patients. Percentages are based on the number for a given year. They do not add up to 100% because the rows are not mutually exclusive categories. The sample size is greater than 509 because respondents were included in all years after they met the rheumatoid arthritis definition. However, the sample size decreased over time because of the requirement for at least 12 months of follow-up after a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. DMARD, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug; MCBS, Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey.