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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007 Jun;46(6):1020-3. Epub 2007 Apr 2.

Most people over age 50 in the general population do not meet ACR remission criteria or OMERACT minimal disease activity criteria for rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Jyvaskyla Central Hospital, 40620 Jyvaskyla, Finland.



To analyse the proportion of individuals in the general population over age 50 who do not meet American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remission, and OMERACT criteria for minimal disease activity (MDA), and to compare results to RA patients.


A self-report questionnaire was completed by 1400 community control subjects and 1705 RA patients, including the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), gradual rating scales for pain, fatigue and global health, duration of morning stiffness and painful joints. The prevalence of 4/6 ACR remission criteria and 4/7 OMERACT criteria for MDA was analysed in community control subjects and patients with RA over age 50.


For ACR criteria, 76% of control subjects reported painful joints, 37% morning stiffness, 62% pain and 66% fatigue, vs 94, 65, 84 and 84% of patients with RA. MDA criteria were not met by 64% of control subjects for painful joints, 38% for pain, 45% for global health and 18% for HAQ, vs 89, 60, 69 and 52% of RA patients. The four ACR remission criteria were met by only 15% of control subjects over age 50 and 3% of RA patients, and MDA criteria by 28% of controls and 7% of patients.


The majority of community population over age 50 did not meet criteria for remission or MDA in RA. Although a self-report format may differ from results involving an assessor, the current criteria may not be accurate to identify remission or MDA in people with RA who are older than age 50.

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