Factors associated with fatigue in early arthritis: Results from the ESPOIR cohort

Arthritis Care & Research , 03/22/2012

Rat AC et al. – Fatigue in early arthritis (EA) is multifactorial. Its level and its course are strongly associated with health–related quality of life (HRQoL), notably the affect dimension. These results should help professionals inform patients about fatigue, explore its causes and develop tailored interventions.


  • The authors included 813 patients (48±13 years old, 77% women).
  • ESPOIR is a multicentre, prospective, national cohort of patients with EA.
  • At baseline and every 6 months up to 1 year, they recorded sociodemographic, clinical and treatment characteristics, AIMS2-SF and SF-36 scores for health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and fatigue severity by a visual analogue scale (f-VAS) and the SF-36 vitality score (fatigue_SF36).


  • At baseline, fatigue as assessed by the f-VAS or fatigue_SF36 was independently associated with young age, female sex, low education level, smoking, increased DAS-28, waking up at night, Sjögren syndrome and worse AIMS2-SF physical, affect and symptom scores.
  • At 1-year follow-up, a favorable change in fatigue scores was associated with increased baseline AIMS2-SF physical and affect scores (better QoL), high baseline fatigue scores, and improved 1-year AIMS2-SF affect scores.
  • Age, sex, and change in AIMS2-SF physical score, DAS-28, and haemoglobin or C-reactive protein level were inconsistently associated with change in fatigue scores.
  • The AIMS2-SF affect score explained most of the variance in baseline fatigue score and was an important factor in 1-year change in fatigue score.

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