Skip to main content

Table 3 Baseline patient characteristics associated with GC prescriptions

From: Half of UK patients with rheumatoid arthritis are prescribed oral glucocorticoid therapy in primary care: a retrospective drug utilisation study

Variable Ever GC use (number, %) Never GC use (number, %) Univariate analysis* (odds ratio, 95 % CI) Multivariate stepwise analysis (odds ratio, 95 % CI)
Baseline demographics  
Age (decades)    1.02, 1.02–1.02** 1.17, 1.14–1.20
Gender (female) 5313, 68.32 % 6153, 70.25 % 0.94, 0.88–1.00  
Current smoking (versus never) 2147, 27.61 % 2385, 27.23 % 1.04, 1.00–1.08** 1.22, 1.13–1.32
Baseline GC-associated comorbidities  
Osteoporosis 427, 5.49 % 279, 3.19 % 1.42, 1.21–1.66**  
Avascular necrosis 7, 0.09 % 4, 0.05 % 1.68, 0.49–5.78  
Myopathy 14, 0.18 % 10, 0.11 % 1.35, 0.60–3.08  
Diabetes mellitus 603, 7.75 % 699, 7.98 % 0.85, 0.76–0.95** 0.71, 0.62–0.82
Cardiovascular disease 364, 4.68 % 264, 3.01 % 1.22, 1.04–1.44** 1.25, 1.03–1.51
Hypertension 1842, 23.69 % 1754, 20.03 % 0.98, 0.90–1.06  
Hyperlipidaemia 798, 10.26 % 830, 9.48 % 0.93, 0.84–1.04 0.86, 0.76–0.97
Peptic ulcer disease 382, 4.91 % 334, 3.81 % 1.13, 0.97–1.32  
Pancreatitis 46, 0.59 % 43, 0.49 % 1.11, 0.73–1.70  
Depression 1684, 21.65 % 1847, 21.09 % 1.11, 1.03–1.19 **  
Insomnia 985, 12.67 % 865, 9.88 % 1.21, 1.10–1.34**  
Psychosis 56, 0.72 % 52, 0.59 % 1.24, 0.84–1.81  
Baseline inflammatory comorbidities  
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 540, 6.94 % 189, 2.16 % 2.74, 2.31–3.25** 1.63, 1.33–1.99
Asthma 1492, 19.18 % 925, 10.56 % 2.07, 1.89–2.27** 1.58, 1.42–1.76
Lower respiratory tract infection 1717, 22.08 % 1342, 15.44 % 1.47, 1.35–1.59** 1.22, 1.11–1.34
Inflammatory bowel disease 78, 1.11 % 63, 0.72 % 1.35, 0.96–1.89  
Cutaneous lupus 13, 0.17 % 11, 0.13 % 1.30, 0.58–2.93  
Cutaneous vasculitis 6, 0.08 % 0, 0.00 % 1  
Atopic eczema 1084, 13.94 % 1127, 12.87 % 1.10, 1.00–1.20**  
Baseline DMARD use  
Methotrexate 465, 5.98 % 501, 5.72 % 1.07, 0.93–1.22 0.80, 0.66–0.97
Sulfasalazine 468, 6.02 % 581, 6.63 % 0.91, 0.80–1.03 0.69, 0.58–0.83
Hydroxychloroquine 259, 3.33 % 256, 2.92 % 1.20, 1.00–1.43**  
Leflunomide 105, 1.35 % 71, 0.81 % 1.83, 1.35–2.49** 1.75, 1.18–2.59
Other DMARDs*** 277, 3.56 % 151, 1.72 % 2.06, 1.68–2.52** 1.68, 1.28–2.19
  1. GC glucocorticoid, DMARDs disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, CI confidence interval
  2. *Adjusted for age and gender
  3. **Significant in univariate analysis
  4. ***Other DMARDs include gold, penicillamine, cyclosporine, chloroquine and azathioprine