Table 1

Clinical characteristics and cardiovascular outcomes for patients randomised to prednisolone or no prednisolone treatment

Groups by randomisation
Prednisolone n=112No-prednisolone n=111p Value
Age at inclusion, years50.6 (14.1)56.9 (13.0)0.001
Female, n (%)77 (69)76 (69)0.96
Traditional CV risk factors at baseline
 BMI, kg/m225.2 (4.3)26.4 (4.2)0.87
 Smoking ever, n (%)73 (65)64 (58)0.25
 Hypertension, n (%)14 (12.5)25 (22.5)0.049
 Diabetes mellitus, n (%)04 (4)0.06
 Hyperlipidaemia, n (%)1 (1)1 (1)1.00
Baseline RA characteristics
 Disease duration, months6.5 (3.5)5.8 (2.8)0.12
 RF positive, n (%)72 (65)72 (65)1.00
 Anti-CCP positive, n (%)58 (64)50 (59)0.50
 DAS285.3 (1.1)5.4 (1.1)0.34
 ESR, mm/h38 (26)37 (25)0.83
 CRP, mg/L22 (8–51)21 (8–53)0.96
 HAQ1.0 (0.6)1.0 (0.7)0.58
Started DMARDs at baseline
 MTX, n (%)57 (51)61 (55)0.54
 SSZ, n (%)36 (32)38 (34)0.74
 AMA, n (%)9 (8)4 (4)0.25
 Gold, n (%)9 (8)8 (7)0.82
Ever use of biological agents during the study, n (%)17 (15)17 (15)1.00
Cumulative RA disease burden in the first 2 years
 AUC-DAS2871.2 (28.1)89.3 (28.4)<0.001
 AUC-ESR, mm/h386 (254)504 (348)0.011
 AUC-CRP, mg/L253 (189–364)296 (162–480)0.37
 AUC-HAQ11.5 (10.9)17.6 (12.7)0.001
Outcomes
 Incident CV event, total, n (%)17 (15.2)15 (13.5)0.72
 Incident ischaemic coronary event, n (%)7 (6.2)10 (9.0)0.44
 Incident ischaemic cerebrovascular event, n (%)10 (8.9)5 (4.5)0.19
 Death, n (%)9 (8)9 (8)0.98
  • Values are means (SD) or medians (IQR) depending on values distribution. p Values indicate between-group differences.

  • AMA, antimalarials; anti-CCP, anticitrullinated peptide antibody; AUC, area under the curve calculated on measurements at baseline, after 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months; BMI, body mass index; CRP, C reactive protein; CV, cardiovascular; DAS28, Disease Activity Score in 28 joints; DMARD, disease modifying antirheumatic drugs; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; HAQ, Health Assessment Questionnaire; MTX, methotrexate; RA, rheumatoid arthritis; RF, rheumatoid factor; SSZ, sulfasalazine.