Management and Comorbidities in Middle-European Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Retrospective, Cross-sectional Comparison with COMORA Data

The Open Rheumatology Journal 31 December 2019 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874312901913010094



To assess disease-specific characteristics and comorbidities in consecutive Middle-European Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients, and to compare results with international data.


Cross-sectional retrospective analysis of consecutive RA patients from a Middle-European outpatient service. Data are compared to those of the international “Co-morbidity in Rheumatoid Arthritis” (COMORA) cohort.


80 RA patients with mean disease duration of 10.6 ± 8.3 years were enrolled within 5 months. Age was 62 ± 13 years and 75% were female. The Middle-European cohort showed slightly lower disease activity than the Austrian COMORA subcohort. 88.8% of all Middle-European RA patients were in remission or had low disease activity. Despite comparable disease characteristics, the percentage of patients ever treated with biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) was lower in the middle-European cohort (36.3%) than in the Austrian subcohort of COMORA (59%), but similar to the international COMORA cohort (39%). More smokers were in the Austrian COMORA subcohort (48.0) than in the Middle-European (22.5%) and the COMORA cohort (13%). Hypertension (38.8%) and osteoporosis (30.0%) were the most frequent comorbidities.


Comparison of RA patients from this Middle-European cohort with the Austrian COMORA subcohort showed less frequent use of bDMARDs during disease course – probably according to the local referral structure. 88.8% of the Middle-European RA-patients achieved the treat-to target-aim of remission or low disease activity.

Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis, Health care, Treatment , Comorbidity, Real-life,epidemiology, Management of patient.
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