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Table 1 Dose–response effect of the number of flares on functional ability and radiographic progression

From: Disease flares in rheumatoid arthritis are associated with joint damage progression and disability: 10-year results from the BeSt study

  Frequency, HAQ HAQ SHS progression baseline to year 10
n (%) patients year 2 to year 10 at year 10
  Total n = 480 median (IQR) median (IQR) median (IQR)
No. of flare A     
  0 159 (33) 0.2 (0.0–0.6) 0.0 (0.0–0.5) 1.3 (0.0–3.1)
  1 100 (21) 0.5 (0.2–0.9) 0.4 (0.0–0.9) 2.3 (0.5–9.6)
  2 73 (15) 0.6 (0.3–0.9) 0.6 (0.1–0.9) 3.0 (0.0–10.0)
  ≥3 148 (31) 0.8 (0.4–1.1) 0.8 (0.4–1.3) 4.3 (0.5–20.1)
  p value   <0.001 <0.001 0.005
No. of minor flare B     
  0 321 (67) 0.4 (0.1–0.8) 0.3 (0.0–0.9) 2.0 (0.0–6.9)
  1 89 (19) 0.6 (0.4–1.0) 0.6 (0.3–1.0) 6.0 (0.5–26.0)
  2 37 (8) 0.7 (0.3–1.1) 0.8 (0.3–1.1) 4.5 (0.1–26.8)
  ≥3 33 (7) 0.9 (0.6–1.1) 0.8 (0.4–1.3) 1.0 (0.0–13.5)
  p value   <0.001 <0.001 0.026
No. of major flare B     
  0 176 (37) 0.3 (0.0–0.8) 0.0 (0.0–0.8) 1.5 (0.0–3.5)
  1 114 (24) 0.5 (0.2–0.9) 0.4 (0.0–0.9) 2.0 (0.5–10.3)
  2 68 (14) 0.6 (0.3–0.9) 0.6 (0.1–0.9) 3.5 (0.5–17.0)
  ≥3 122 (25) 0.8 (0.4–1.1) 0.8 (0.3–1.1) 4.5 (0.3–17.3)
  p value   <0.001 <0.001 0.009
  1. Due to drop out, not all patients had a HAQ at year 10 available, or a SHS progression score from baseline to year 10
  2. ‘Flare A’ defined as DAS >2.4, with an increase in DAS of at least 0.6 from a previous DAS of any value. ‘Minor flare B’ defined as DAS >2.4, from a previous DAS ≤2.4 with an increase of DAS <0.6. ‘Major flare B’ defined as DAS >2.4 from a previous DAS ≤2.4 with an increase in DAS ≥0.6
  3. IQR interquartile range, HAQ health assessment questionnaire, SHS Sharp/ van der Heijde score