Table 1.

Description of randomized trials tapering glucocorticoids (GC) and baseline characteristics of all study participants. All values are n (%), except where otherwise stated.

Study designMulticenter, parallel group, double blind, placebo controlledSingle center, placebo controlledMulticenter, 4-arm, active controlled, blinded assessorMulticenter, factorial, double blind, placebo controlledSingle center, double blind, placebo controlledMulticenter, double blind, placebo controlled
No. tapering arms155585084673175
Age, yrs, mean (SD)49.5 (12)61.8*54.3 (14)54*51.5*49.2 (11)
Female91 (59)42 (72)343 (68)326 (70)20 (65)52 (69)
Disease duration, wks16 (median)484 (mean)2.3 (median)16 (mean)328 (mean)52 (mean)
Prior DMARD35 (23)**50 (86)***43 (8)**65 (14)NP9 (12)
Prior anti-TNFNP1 (1.7)***NPNPNPNP
Prior prednisone use058 (100)0NP31 (100)Yes; exact number of patients not given
RF-positive116 (75)47 (81)329 (65)312 (67)NP68 (90)
Erosions114 (74)53 (91)357 (70)154 (33)NP21 (28)
Disease activity4.6 (1.0)3.8#4.4 (0.9)††5.8 (1.3)#4.5#NP
HAQ-DI1.5 (0.7)1.11.4 (0.7)1.6 (0.7)NP1.28 (0.7)
  • * Standard deviation (SD) not provided.

  • ** Study reported only previous treatment with antimalarials.

  • *** Current use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD).

  • Disease activity score defined as a composite outcome measure containing the Ritchie tender joint index, swollen joint count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the patient’s overall assessment.

  • †† Disease Activity Score defined by DAS-44.

  • # Disease Activity Score defined by DAS-28. NP: not provided; RF: rheumatoid factor; TNF: tumor necrosis factor; HAQ-DI: Health Assessment Questionnaire-Damage Index.