Table 3.

Clinical characteristics of patients throughout the followup, grouped by occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) event and all-cause mortality.

All,Incident CVD EventAll-cause Mortality
n = 741Yes, n = 177No, n = 564Died, n = 151Survived, n = 590
CVD risk factors
  Hypertension, %30.250.8***23.838.4*28.1
  Diabetes mellitus, %7.211.0*6.112.8**5.8
  Hyperlipidemia, %8.123.2***3.411.37.3
Decrease (Δ) in disease measures after 1 year
  ΔCRP, mg/l8 (0–32)11 (0–34)6 (0–31)13.5 (0–39)6 (0–30)
  ΔESR, mm/h16.9 ± 24.414.8 ± 26.617.5 ± 23.717.1 ± 26.916.8 ± 23.8
  ΔDAS281.8 ± 1.61.7 ± 1.71.9 ± 1.61.7 ± 1.81.9 ± 1.6
  ΔHAQ0.42 ± 0.600.35 ± 0.610.44 ± 0.600.39 ± 0.690.43 ± 0.58
  ΔVAS pain, mm17.5 ± 29.716.0 ± 31.118.0 ± 29.313.6 ± 32.218.6 ± 29.0
Disease burden (AUC) up to 2 years
  CRP-AUC, mg/l26 (15–48.5)32.5 (18–56.5)***24.5 (13–45)38 (22–65.5)***24 (12.5–44)
  ESR-AUC, mm/h38 (22–62)46 (27–73)***35 (21–60)48 (28–79)***36 (20–60)
  DAS28-AUC7.5 ± 2.37.6 ± 2.37.4 ± 2.27.8 ± 2.47.4 ± 2.2
  HAQ-AUC1.36 ± 1.01.46 ± 1.091.33 ± 0.971.64 ± 1.16***1.29 ± 0.94
  VAS pain-AUC, mm64.6 ± 38.265.0 ± 37.864.5 ± 38.467.2 ± 41.064.0 ± 37.5
HAQ at 2 years0.59 ± 0.590.66 ± 0.620.57 ± 0.580.75 ± 0.67***0.55 ± 0.57
Regular therapies
  MTX, %67.256.3***70.659.6*69.1
  GC, %51.858.5*49.757.650.3
  Biologic agents, %15.912.417.14.6***18.8
  • Values are mean ± SD or medians (IQR) depending on values distribution. P values for between-group differences:

  • * p < 0.05;

  • ** p ≤ 0.01;

  • *** p ≤ 0.001. CVD risk factors considered if occurred before the study outcomes or the end of observation. AUC: area under the curve calculated on measurements at baseline, after 1 and 2 years; Δ = decrease in measurements between baseline and the 1-yr assessment; CRP: C-reactive protein; ESR: erythrocyte sedimentation rate; DAS28: Disease Activity Score in 28 joints; HAQ: Health Assessment Questionnaire; VAS pain: visual analog scale for pain; MTX: methotrexate; GC: glucocorticoids.