Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies do not reflect self-reported disability and physical health in patients with rheumatoid arthritis of less than 5 years of duration.
Poulsen CH., Jacobsen S., Frisch M., Frederiksen K., Johansen C.
It is well accepted that patients with antibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) suffer from more severe forms of RA in terms of clinical presentation and radiographic destruction at long term compared to anti-CCP-negative patients. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether the measures of self-reported health among patients with RA of <5 years of duration are influenced by anti-CCP status. Additionally, we aimed to determine whether the measures of self-reported health among the two patient groups differ from those of a control group. Telephone interviews were conducted with 464 patients with RA and 637 population controls, who reported educational level, income, smoking habits and lifestyle 10 years before the interview and completed the Health Assessment Questionnaire and the Short-Form Health Survey Questionnaire, version 2 (SF-36v2); 424 (91%) patients submitted a blood sample for analysis. Patients with anti-CCP-positive and anti-CCP-negative RA showed no significant differences in self-reported disability and physical health after adjustment for age, gender, socioeconomic factors, lifestyle and disease-related variables (p > 0.05). Both groups of RA patients reported significantly more physical disabilities in everyday life and significantly poorer physical health than the controls (both p < 0.001). A similar pattern was seen for self-reported mental health (both p < 0.05). Patients with RA of <5 years of duration report significantly more disability and poorer physical health than the general population of Denmark, but these reports were independent of anti-CCP status.