Author: Claire Barnard
medwireNews: Men with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) initiating treatment with biologic or targeted synthetic DMARDs may be more likely to achieve remission than women, suggests research reported at The Lancet Summit: Sex and gender in rheumatology.
The study, presented by Enriqueta Vallejo-Yagüe (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), included 3722 people with RA (76% women) who initiated tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (85%), other biologics (12%), or targeted synthetic DMARDs (3%) and were included in a Swiss registry between 1997 and 2019.
Overall, men were significantly more likely to achieve remission (DAS28<2.6) within 1 year than women, with an odds ratio of 1.24 after adjustment for potential confounders. There were a total of 1033 remission events during the study period.
Vallejo-Yagüe said that mediation analyses identified baseline disease activity and disease duration as factors that could explain the association between male sex and higher probability of achieving remission. Men had a significantly lower average DAS28-ESR at baseline (4.2 vs 4.4 for women), as well as a significantly shorter median disease duration (3.4 vs 5.0 years).
These findings suggest that “if we start treating our female patients earlier with biologics or targeted synthetic DMARDs we may […] reduce the observed sex disparity in DAS28 remission,” concluded the presenter.
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