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)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Aspirin to improve leg ulcers

date 2 hours ago

Researchers are looking at whether aspirin can improve the healing rates of leg ulcers in older adults.

Sierra Leone marks grim Ebola anniversary

date 6 hours ago

On May 24 last year a pregnant woman and an older housewife staggered into Kenema hospital in eastern Sierra Leone and were diagnosed within a day as the country's first Ebola cases.

MSF fighting cholera outbreak in Tanzania refugee camps

date May 24, 2015

Medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) said Sunday it had launched emergency treatment centres in Tanzania, where thousands of Burundians fleeing unrest have been hit by cholera.

Bacteria blamed in indigenous Mexican baby deaths

date May 23, 2015

Bacteria—and not a contaminated vaccine as initially suspected—were to blame for the recent deaths of two Mexican babies and for sickening 29 others, according to an official investigation.

User 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.