Objective. In 1999, the Italian Society of Rheumatology started a project to determine the prevalence and clinical characteristics of aggressive rheumatoid arthritis (ARA). Methods. For 1 year, all patients with RA for <5 years and referred to participating centers were entered in a registry and classified as having ARA if they fulfilled the following criteria: 10 swollen joints for at least 6 weeks, positive rheumatoid factor (RF), and at least one bone erosion (if disease duration of 2 years); (a) RF-positive and having 10 swollen joints or at least one newly eroded joint, or (b) if RF-negative, having 10 swollen joints and at least one newly eroded joint (if disease duration > 2 to <5 years). Results. The 94 participating centers enrolled 1218 patients with RA, 1130 of whom had enough data to be classified as ARA (29.0%) or non-ARA (71.0%). The frequency of ARA was 15% in the 2-year group and 63% in the > 2 to <5-year group, but 35% of the patients in the 2-year group had erosions. Bone erosions were associated with disease duration, a Health Assessment Questionnaire value > 1.5, female sex, and RF positivity. Conditions other than RA were recorded in about 50% of the patients, and only 30%-40% were taking disease modifying antirheumatic drugs. Conclusion. In an Italian RA population, the GIARA (Gruppo Italiano Artrite Reumatoide Aggressiva) criteria for ARA were met by 15% of the patients with disease duration of 2 years, but erosions were seen in 35%. Upon referral, most of the RA patients were inadequately treated and had other conditions.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Rheumatology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2007|
- Bone erosion
- Early arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
ASJC Scopus subject areas