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05-01-2018 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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RA patients with high burden of AEs less likely to achieve remission

medwireNews: A high burden of adverse events (AEs) is associated with lower rates of remission among patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), researchers report in Clinical Rheumatology.

In a post-hoc analysis of trial data from 99 patients who were treated for 2 years with an intensive regimen of methotrexate, sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine, and low-dose prednisolone, and then randomly assigned to receive five infliximab or placebo infusions between weeks 4 and 26, a total of 331 AEs were reported during the first year of the study.

Rates of remission – measured according to Disease Activity Score at 28 joints – decreased with greater burden of AEs, with 94% of patients in each of the two lowest tertiles of AE burden being in remission at 1 year, compared with 76% of those in the highest tertile. Similarly, rates of remission at the 2-year follow-up were 90%, 86%, and 70% in the lowest, middle, and highest tertiles of AE burden, respectively.

“These reduced remission rates are most likely explained by reduced DMARD exposure over time caused by adverse events,” write Laura Kuusalo (University of Turku, Finland) and study co-authors, noting that patients with the greatest burden of AEs had the highest rates of treatment discontinuation.

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2018 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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