Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Exploring the disparity between inflammation and disability in the 10-year outcomes of people with rheumatoid arthritis

Gwinnutt, James M.; Norton, Sam; Hyrich, Kimme L.; Lunt, Mark; Combe, Bernard; Rincheval, Nathalie; Ruyssen-Witrand, Adeline; Fautrel, Bruno; McWilliams, Daniel F.; Walsh, David A.; Nikiphorou, Elena; Kiely, Patrick; Young, Adam; Chipping, Jacqueline R; MacGregor, Alex; Verstappen, Suzanne M.M.

Exploring the disparity between inflammation and disability in the 10-year outcomes of people with rheumatoid arthritis Thumbnail


James M. Gwinnutt

Sam Norton

Kimme L. Hyrich

Mark Lunt

Bernard Combe

Nathalie Rincheval

Adeline Ruyssen-Witrand

Bruno Fautrel

Professor of Rheumatology

Elena Nikiphorou

Patrick Kiely

Adam Young

Jacqueline R Chipping

Alex MacGregor

Suzanne M.M. Verstappen


OBJECTIVES: To identify groups of people with RA with different disability trajectories over 10 years, despite comparable levels of inflammation. METHODS: Data for this analysis came from three European prospective cohort studies of people with RA [Norfolk Arthritis Register (NOAR), Early RA Network (ERAN), Étude et Suivi des Polyarthrites Indifférenciées Récentes (ESPOIR)]. Participants were assessed regularly over 8 (ERAN) to 10 (NOAR/ESPOIR) years. Inclusion criteria were: recruited after 1 January 2000, <24 months baseline symptom duration, and disability (HAQ) and inflammation [two-component DAS28 (DAS28-2C)] recorded at baseline and at one other follow-up. People in each cohort also completed patient-reported outcome measures at each assessment (pain, fatigue, depressive symptoms). Group-based trajectory models were used to identify distinct groups of people with similar HAQ and DAS28-2C trajectories over follow-up. RESULTS: This analysis included 2500 people with RA (NOAR: 1000, ESPOIR: 766, ERAN: 734). ESPOIR included more women and the participants were younger [mean (standard deviation) age: NOAR: 57.1 (14.6), ESPOIR: 47.6 (12.5), ERAN: 56.8 (13.8); women: NOAR: 63.9%, ESPOIR: 76.9%, ERAN: 69.1%). Within each cohort, two pairs of trajectories following the hypothesized pattern (comparable DAS28-2Cs but different HAQs) were identified. Higher pain, fatigue and depressive symptoms were associated with increased odds of being in the high HAQ trajectories. CONCLUSION: Excess disability is persistent in RA. Controlling inflammation may not be sufficient to alleviate disability in all people with RA, and effective pain, fatigue and mood management may be needed in some groups to improve long-term function.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 25, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 11, 2022
Publication Date 2022-12
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Mar 12, 2023
Journal Rheumatology
Print ISSN 1462-0324
Electronic ISSN 1462-0332
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 61
Issue 12
Pages 4687–4701
Keywords Pharmacology (medical); Rheumatology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Rheumatology following peer review. The version of record James M Gwinnutt, Sam Norton, Kimme L Hyrich, Mark Lunt, Bernard Combe, Nathalie Rincheval, Adeline Ruyssen-Witrand, Bruno Fautrel, Daniel F McWilliams, David A Walsh, Elena Nikiphorou, Patrick D W Kiely, Adam Young, Jacqueline R Chipping, Alex MacGregor, Suzanne M M Verstappen, Exploring the disparity between inflammation and disability in the 10-year outcomes of people with rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Volume 61, Issue 12, December 2022, Pages 4687–4701, is available online at:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations