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what is DAS score?

I am totally confused ...having been diagnosed with RA and been started on Sulfasalazine and experiencing lots of side effects (mouth ulcers etc) Reading others peoples experiences of seeing Rheumy nurse I am left unsure of what Das score is ? I have had 2 visits to nurse but never had this/or been told this or even had baseline noted of my arthritis. Is this usual ? I

9 Replies

Hi Alton. I have never been told my DAS (disease activity score) either and have no rheumy nurse. I think it depends where you live (you should specify and also put something about yourself on your profile - if you want advice it helps people to recall your story) and whether your rheumatology department uses them. Mine doesn't seem to but as I live on a Scottish island I'm really not sure whether most UK rheumatologists rely on them or not. You could try asking the nurse for a print out or to fill in an NRAS DAS booklet perhaps but maybe this only happens if you are on Methotrexate or one of the biologics - I don't know but I think it just depends on the protocol in your area. Hopefully others will be able to help you more. Tilda


Hi there, sorry to hear you are having side effects, hope they calm down (have you told GP or Rheumy nurse about them?). My Rheumy calculated my DAS score at my last visit after nearly 2 years! Of course he may have previously done this in secret! I wouldn't worry too much about it because it's a formula that as far as I can see is used primarily for making a case for Biologic drugs when & if they are needed. And like all formulaic ways of looking at a person's disease it has its drawbacks, for example swollen and / or painful joints on feet are not included. I've never yet heard a satisfactory explanation of why this is.

I was given a target DAS score to reach but instantly forgot it! And anyway, it's not like having a target weight at Weight Watchers, there's almost nothing I can do about it apart from taking the tablets.

Dismissive as I am I still like to know everything just in case so if I were you I'd ask for your DAS score next time you see the Rheumy or the nurse. I'm sure, well, sort of sure, that they must note down what's what when they first see you to use as a baseline, but again you could ask about this. I think 'things' (i.e. communication, information, data) tend to get clearer as time goes on & that Rheumys are likely to concentrate on getting you started, and hopefully settled, on the drug treatment at the beginning. I try to keep a diary not only of my symptoms but also of the questions that pop into my mind in between appointments so that I'm well-prepared.

Hope all goes well for you,

Luce x


Hi I asked my doctor at the hosptal yesterday what my das score is 5.6 which is high

he said so that why I'm going on injections . He told me that they do them about three times a year . Ask what yours is from rummy or doc hope that helps x


Das scores measure how you feel pain. They look at squeeze your joints and you're asked how it feels. They calculate it basically on the number of ouches you say. You can find an example if you look on the Internet but I don't have the link to hand. Ask me if you can't find it. I don't think much of it because everyone's level of pain is different and I don't think that here they put too much weight on it.


If u go to the search bar at the top and put in DAS score there is a girl who did some work as a volunteer for Nras on this and it is a great blog explaining how it is done, why and what the scores mean. It was in march 2011 and by Lynne I think? I had mine done for biological therapy but have not had it done since. Good luck Axx


Thankyou eveyone for your comments. Suppose I am feeling a bit isolated but your replies have reassured me,again thankyou. Being relatively new to RA and not having met anyone to discuss and 'compare notes' with makes you a bit scared I suppose but now feel more confident to discuss on this site now.xx


Hi, on my first visit my consultant gave me a score of 7.6 and told me we were aiming to get it to 2.3, at the time it didn't really make sense but it gave me re-assurance that things would get better, each time I went the score dropped. I work out my own DAS score from time to time using an online DAS calculator, again I found it using the tab at top of this page.

When my score stopped dropping it was easier to determine the medications (DMARD) weren't working; then I was eligable for an anti-tnf. then it dropped further to 1.35 (disease remission:) )

It's terrifyling but you will get there, just takes a bit of 'tweaking' x


Hi ive never been told my DAS or ever had my joints felt and ive had ra since 2011!

ive never been told any results from tests ever.

Hope you get more help than ive had.

Take care




Hi Alton

It looks as if you've already had some very solid advice from the folks on here but I thought you might find it helpful to take a look at our 'Know your DAS' video:

As other have mentioned the use of DAS seems very variable and some will not have a DAS taken until being assessed for the newer biologic drugs while others may have a DAS taken regularly. This may be due to time restrictions in appointments but it is certainly worth asking about next time you see your rheumatology nurse. It would also be worth mentioning the side effects you are experiencing - the nurse, or even your GP, may be able to recommend a mouth wash to help with the ulcers.

Welcome to HU!

Kind regards

Sarah Kate



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