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Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a complex inflammatory disorder with diverse clinical manifestations. While haematological parameters have long been suggested as potential surrogates for RA disease activity, their direct relationship with the DAS-28 score remains to be thoroughly charted.
Objective: To elucidate the correlation between specific haematological markers and RA disease activity, benchmarked against the DAS-28 score, and to determine the potential diagnostic value of these indices in RA monitoring and management.
Methods: In a cross-sectional survey spanning six months at Sheikh Zaid Hospital, Lahore, 104 RA patients were enrolled. Based on disease activity, participants were segmented into four groups. Comprehensive data capture encompassed demographics, clinical specifics, and haematological indicators. Advanced statistical processing, using SPSS, incorporated correlation computations, ANOVA, and ROC curve methodologies.
Results: DAS-28 scores aligned with disease severity, with averages of 2.13, 2.88, 3.98, and 5.61 for remission, low, moderate, and high activity levels respectively. Haemoglobin demonstrated a significant negative correlation with the DAS-28 score (Pearson's R = -0.485, p < 0.001). Conversely, RDW (%) (Pearson's R = 0.749, p < 0.001), Neutrophils (%) (Pearson's R = 0.691, p < 0.001), and NLR (Pearson’s R = 0.617, p < 0.001) all reflected robust positive correlations. Lymphocytes (%) showed a negative trend (Pearson's R = -0.475, p < 0.001). MPV (fl) and platelet count, however, did not indicate significant correlations.
Conclusion: Key haematological parameters, especially RDW, neutrophils, NLR, and inversely, haemoglobin and lymphocytes, manifest marked correlations with the DAS-28 score in RA patients. These indices could serve as valuable ancillary tools in assessing RA disease activity, particularly in settings with limited access to advanced diagnostic modalities.
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