Table 1

Characteristics of the early symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis patients with and without anti-cyclic-citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies

Anti-CCP-negative (n = 228)

Anti-CCP-positive (n = 226)


Female [n (%)]

147 (64%)

150 (66%)

Age at inclusion (mean ± standard deviation)

57 ± 17

55 ± 16

Morning stiffness

No [n (%)]

30 (13%)

30 (13%)

Yes (min) (mean ± standard deviation)

118 ± 138

123 ± 128

Type of initial joint symptoms [n (%)]a

Pain

208 (91%)

205 (91%)

Swelling

146 (64%)

135 (60%)

Stiffness

106 (46%)

85 (38%)

Function loss

64 (28%)

57 (25%)

Redness or increased surface temperature of joints

19 (8%)

26 (12%)

Localization of initial joint symptoms [n (%)]

Small joints of hands and/or feet

105 (46%)

112 (50%)

Large joints

54 (24%)

50 (22%)

Both small and large joints

63 (28%)

59 (26%)

Unknown

6 (2%)

5 (2%)

Localization of initial joint symptoms [n (%)]

Upper limbs

114 (50%)

86 (38%)*

Lower limbs

72 (32%)

77 (34%)

Both upper and lower limbs

25 (11%)

45 (20%)*

Unknown

18 (8%)

18 (8%)

Localization of initial joint symptoms [n (%)]

Symmetric

145 (64%)

130 (58%)

Asymmetric

71 (31%)

83 (37%)

Unknown

10 (4%)

13 (6%)

VAS patients' rated global disease activity (0–100)

51.3 ± 39.9

46.7 ± 28.2

HAQ score (mean ± standard deviation)

1.0 ± 0.7

1.0 ± 0.7


VAS, visual analogue scale. HAQ, Health Assessment Questionnaire.

aPatients can have both swelling and pain at the start of the symptoms and therefore the total can add to more than 100%.

* P < 0.05, anti-CCP-positive versus anti-CCP-negative.

van der Helm-van Mil et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2005 7:R949-R958   doi:10.1186/ar1767

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