Disease activity correlates and functionality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis - real-world experience from a South Asian country

Noreen Nasir, Hafsa Majid, Ayesha Habib Khan, Safia Awan, Mohammed Mehmood Riaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: There is a lack of data assessing disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis from Pakistan. We sought to determine the correlation between Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28) and disease activity parameters and the modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (mHAQ). Secondarily, we evaluated the concordance of acute phase reactants with disease activity. Material and methods: We prospectively studied 132 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as per the 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism criteria, not in clinical remission. Based on the DAS28 score, the patients were divided into low, moderate, and high activity groups. The patients were also categorized according to the elevation of acute phase reactants to determine concordance and discordance with DAS28-ESR and DAS28-CRP. Descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlation were computed. Results: Complete demographics was available for 132 participants. The mean age was 46.2 ±12.8 years; there were 85.6% (n = 113) females. The mean disease duration was 5.7 ±6.4 years. The (Rephrase as mean ±SD) DAS28 and mHAQ scores were 3.4 ±1.8 and 0.77 ±0.68, respectively. A significant correlation was observed between DAS28 and tender and swollen joint count (r = 0.64; p < 0.001); DAS28 and mHAQ (r = 0.47; p-value < 0.001), DAS28 and patient's global assessment (PGA) (r = 0.45; p-value < 0.001). A weak correlation was observed between mHAQ and CRP and ESR, with r = 0.242 and 0.225, respectively, p-value < 0.001. In comparison, no correlation of DAS28 with the rheumatoid factor (r = -0.035) or ACPA antibody (r = -0.094) was noted. A positive concordance between ESR and CRP was observed in severely active RA. Conclusions: From an outpatient setting in a South Asian country, DAS28-ESR emerged as the preferred choice for an accurate assessment of disease severity in RA when combined with the mHAQ. Acute phase reactants increase positively in concordance with severely active RA, although discordant in low to moderately active disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Disease Activity Score 28
  • acute phase reactants
  • modified Health Assessment Questionnaire
  • rheumatoid arthritis


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