Biologic treatments for RA carry similar infection risk

July 28, 2014
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.

Explore further: Head-to-head study in RA shows that abatacept has comparable efficacy to adalimumab

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

Related Stories

Obesity is a risk factor for poor remission rates in RA

July 6, 2012

(HealthDay) -- For patients with long-standing rheumatoid arthritis treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (anti-TNFα) therapies, obesity is related to poor remission rates, according to a study published online ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover rare flu-thwarting mutation

September 29, 2016

A rare and improbable mutation in a protein encoded by an influenza virus renders the virus defenseless against the body's immune system. This University of Rochester Medical Center discovery could provide a new strategy ...

Utah man may have contracted Zika from dying father's tears

September 29, 2016

A Utah man who mysteriously contracted Zika from his infected father may have got it by touching his dad's tears or sweat with his bare hands, according to new research unveiled Wednesday that found the unusual transmission ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.