Biologic treatments for RA carry similar infection risk

Biologic treatments for RA carry similar infection risk
The risk of hospitalized bacterial infections in older rheumatoid arthritis patients is similar for rituximab or abatacept compared to etanercept, although it is higher for infliximab, according to a study published in the July issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

(HealthDay)—The risk of hospitalized bacterial infections in older rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is similar for rituximab or abatacept compared to etanercept, although it is higher for infliximab, according to a study published in the July issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Jeffrey R. Curtis, M.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues utilized 1998 to 2011 data from the U.S. Veterans Health Administration to identify RA patients initiating , abatacept, or anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy. The authors sought to assess the comparative risk of hospitalized infection associated with anti-TNF and non-anti-TNF biologic agents.

The researchers found that 3,152 unique RA patients (mean age, 60 years; 87 percent male) had 4,158 biologic treatment episodes of rituximab (596 initiations), abatacept (451 initiations), and anti-TNF agents (3,111 initiations). For rituximab, the hospitalized infection rate was 4.4 per 100 person-years; rates were 2.8 for abatacept and 3.0 for anti-TNF. The adjusted rates of hospitalized infection were similar for adalimumab (hazard ratio [HR], 1.4; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.9 to 2.2), abatacept (HR, 1.1; 95 percent CI, 0.6 to 2.1), or rituximab (HR, 1.4; 95 percent CI, 0.8 to 2.6), compared to etanercept, although it was increased for (HR, 2.3; 95 percent CI,, 1.3 to 4.0).

"In older, predominantly male U.S. veterans with RA, the risk of hospitalized bacterial infections associated with rituximab or abatacept was similar to etanercept," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New York 'fully prepared' to handle Ebola case: mayor

37 minutes ago

New York's mayor said America's largest city was fully equipped to handle Ebola as authorities sought to calm fears Friday about the virus spreading, after a doctor tested positive for the disease.

Two US nurses are declared cured of Ebola

38 minutes ago

Two American nurses were declared cured of Ebola on Friday, and one was healthy enough to leave hospital and make plans to meet President Barack Obama.

Aid group: No need to isolate staff treating Ebola

1 hour ago

Doctors Without Borders insisted Friday, after one of its doctors who worked in Guinea came down with Ebola in New York, that quarantines of health workers returning from the hot zone are not necessary when ...

New York on alert over first Ebola case

1 hour ago

New York went on alert Friday as authorities sought to calm fears among the city's 8.4 million residents after a doctor tested positive for Ebola.

User comments