Severity of disability and duration of disease in rheumatoid arthritis

J Paul Leigh, J. F. Fries, N. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A longitudinal sample of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from Santa Clara County, CA was analyzed. Severity was measured with the Disability Index from the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). First, 6 cohorts were created of women and men with 0 to 10, > 10 to 20, and > 20 years of duration of illness in 1981. Experiences of the 6 cohorts were studied from 1981 to 1989. For both sexes, and both samples which alternately included and excluded the deceased, persons with > 20 years of duration experienced faster deterioration than those with < 20 years. Second, multiple regression models were estimated which treated the Disability Index as the dependent variable. In the regression models, the Disability Index worsened more quickly for women than men, for persons with few rather than many years of education, and for older than younger persons. Regression models which excluded an intercept term suggested a unique 'S' shaped curve that described the Disability Index and duration relation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1906-1911
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • panel data
  • regression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Rheumatology


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