Objective: To identify longitudinal predictors of discordance between patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and their health care providers, where patient global assessment of disease activity is substantially higher than provider global assessment. Methods: This retrospective case–control study included 102 cases with positive discordance (i.e., ≥25 mm between patient and provider global assessments) and 102 controls without discordance who were matched for age, sex, RA duration, and Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) score. Data were collected at the baseline visit (date of diagnosis or earliest available visit), the index visit (participation in a previous cross-sectional study), and at up to 11 additional visits before the index visit. Data included patient characteristics, disease activity measures, Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (3-variable) using the C-reactive protein level (DAS28-CRP), and medications. Data were analyzed by using linear and logistic regression models with smoothing splines for nonlinear trends. Results: Overall, the mean age was 63 years, 75% of patients were female, and the mean RA duration was 10 years. Compared with controls, cases had higher rates of discordant visits during the 4 years before the index visit, and they had a higher CDAI score and DAS28-CRP earlier in the disease course. Cases more frequently had antinuclear antibodies, nonerosive disease, prior depression, or prior use of antidepressants or fibromyalgia medications. Disease-modifying medication use was not different between cases and controls. Conclusion: The findings inform new hypotheses about the relationships of disease activity and antinuclear antibodies to the later occurrence of positive discordance among patients with RA.
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