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Table 1 Baseline characteristics of the three cohorts

From: Factors associated with initial or subsequent choice of biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

  All Early untreated RA Prevalent RA, naïve to biologic DMARDs Prevalent RA, exposed to biologic DMARDs
Total number 195,433 (100) 78,667 (100) 93,534 (100) 23,232 (100)
Insurance type
 Commercial (United) 82,402 (42.2) 26,810 (34.1) 40,023 (42.8) 15,569 (67.0)
 Public (Medicaid) 113,031 (57.8) 51,857 (65.9) 53,511 (57.2) 7663 (33.0)
Age 49 (±12.1) 49 (±12.2) 50 (±12.1) 49 (±11.9)
Gender (female) 153,933 (78.8) 60,487 (76.9) 75,456 (80.7) 17,990 (77.4)
Comorbid conditions
 Hyperlipidemia 76,793 (39.3) 36,538 (46.4) 33,005 (35.3) 7250 (31.2)
 Heart diseasea 34,869 (17.8) 17,501 (22.2) 14,896 (15.9) 2472 (10.6)
 Hypertension 92,080 (47.1) 41,338 (52.5) 42,244 (45.2) 8498 (36.6)
 Cerebrovascular accident 10,118 (5.2) 5432 (6.9) 4175 (4.5) 511 (2.2)
 Diabetes 41,704 (21.3) 20,195 (25.7) 18,143 (19.4) 3366 (14.5)
 Obesity 22,828 (11.7) 12,317 (15.7) 8829 (9.4) 1682 (7.2)
 Inflammatory bowel disease 4037 (2.1) 1475 (1.9) 1661 (1.8) 901 (3.9)
 History of hospitalization with severe infectionsb 8876 (4.6) 4539 (5.8) 3689 (3.9) 648 (2.8)
 COPD 62,388 (31.9) 30,789 (39.1) 26,974 (28.8) 4625 (19.9)
 Liver disease 13,030 (6.7) 7035 (8.9) 5057 (5.4) 938 (4.0)
 Metastatic cancer 1849 (1.0) 1028 (1.3) 719 (0.8) 102 (0.4)
 Any tumor 12,976 (6.6) 6301 (8.0) 5683 (6.1) 992 (4.3)
 Alcohol abuse 8699 (4.5) 5385 (6.8) 2928 (3.1) 386 (1.7)
 Tobacco use 35,992 (18.4) 18,567 (23.6) 14,562 (15.6) 2863 (12.3)
 Combined comorbidity score 1 (±2.0) 2 (±2.0) 1 (±1.9) 1 (±1.5)
History of medication use
 ACE inhibitors 35,742 (18.3) 15,088 (19.2) 17,107 (18.3) 3547 (15.3)
 ARBs 16,311 (8.4) 7159 (9.1) 7310 (7.8) 1842 (7.9)
 Beta blockers 30,934 (15.8) 12,955 (16.5) 14,679 (15.7) 3300 (14.2)
 Calcium channel blockers 28,302 (14.5) 11,936 (15.2) 13,820 (14.8) 2546 (11.0)
 Diuretics 52,688 (27.0) 22,093 (28.1) 25,279 (27.0) 5316 (22.9)
 Insulin 8851 (4.5) 4100 (5.2) 3920 (4.2) 831 (3.6)
 Oral hypoglycemic 21,004 (10.8) 95,28 (12.1) 9620 (10.3) 1856 (8.0)
 Statins 38,246 (19.6) 173,91 (22.1) 17,079 (18.3) 3776 (16.3)
 Non-statin lipid-lowering drugs 11,324 (5.8) 5213 (6.6) 4845 (5.2) 1266 (5.4)
 Aspirins 10,876 (5.6) 58,42 (7.4) 4517 (4.8) 517 (2.2)
 COX-2 inhibitors 44,555 (22.8) 150,28 (19.1) 24,130 (25.8) 5397 (23.2)
 Non-selective NSAIDs 108,196 (55.4) 468,58 (59.6) 51,080 (54.6) 10,258 (44.2)
 Opioids 118,542 (60.7) 485,45 (61.7) 56,545 (60.5) 13,452 (57.9)
 Steroids 106,676 (54.6) 33,474 (42.6) 57,604 (61.6) 15,598 (67.1)
 Cumulative steroid dose (mg/day in prior year) 3 (±32.8) 2 (±3.2) 4 (±43.3) 4 (±20.3)
 Average daily steroid dose
  None 109, 365 (56.0) 53,489 (68.0) 45,373 (48.5) 10,503 (45.2)
  Low (<5 mg/day) 66,779 (34.2) 22,933 (29.2) 35,157 (37.6) 8689 (37.4)
  Medium (5–10 mg/day) 12,610 (6.5) 1473 (1.9) 8408 (9.0) 2729 (11.7)
  High (≥10 mg/day) 6679 (3.4) 772 (1.0) 4596 (4.9) 1311 (5.6)
 Non-biologic drugs 66,961 (71.6) 16,550 (71.2)
 Number of non-biologic drugs    
  None 26,573 (28.4) 6682 (28.8)
  One 48,124 (51.5) 11,822 (50.9)
  More than one 18,837 (20.1) 4728 (20.4)
 Prior MTX 38,172 (40.8) 12,381 (53.3)
 Prior HCQ 28,901 (30.9) 3735 (16.1)
Health care utilization
 Number of prescriptions 14 (±9.6) 14 (±10.2) 14 (±9.3) 13 (±8.2)
 Number of physician visits 11 (±9.4) 11 (±9.5) 11 (±9.4) 12 (±8.4)
 Number of hospitalizations 0 (±1.0) 0 (±1.2) 0 (±1.0) 0 (±0.7)
 Number of emergency room visits 1 (±3.0) 1 (±3.6) 1 (±2.7) 1 (±1.7)
  1. Values are the number (%) or mean (±SD). RA rheumatoid arthritis, DMARD disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ACE angiotensin-converting enzyme, ARB angiotensin II receptor blocker, COX cyclooxygenase, NSAID non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, MTX methotrexate, HCQ hydroxychloroquine. aAcute myocardial infarction, angina, chronic heart failure, and other forms of chronic heart disease. bHistory of hospitalization with serious bacterial infections or opportunistic infections