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Type: Journal article
Title: Biologics and cardiovascular events in inflammatory arthritis: a prospective national cohort study
Author: Lee, J.L.
Sinnathurai, P.
Buchbinder, R.
Hill, C.
Lassere, M.
March, L.
Citation: Arthritis Research and Therapy, 2018; 20(1):171-1-171-9
Publisher: BMC
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1478-6354
Statement of
Joshua L. Lee, Premarani Sinnathurai, Rachelle Buchbinder, Catherine Hill, Marissa Lassere and Lyn March
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Inflammatory arthritides including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This process may be driven by systemic inflammation, and the use of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors could therefore potentially reduce cardiovascular risk by reducing this inflammatory burden. The aims of this study were to evaluate whether the risk of cardiovascular events (CVEs) in patients with inflammatory arthritis is associated with treatment with anti-TNF therapy, compared with other biologics or non-biologic therapy, and to compare the CVE risk between participants with RA, PsA and AS. METHODS: Data from consecutive participants in the Australian Rheumatology Association Database with RA, PsA and AS from September 2001 to January 2015 were included in the study. The Cox proportional hazards model using the counting process with time-varying covariates tested for risk of having CVEs, defined as angina, myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass graft, percutaneous coronary intervention, other heart disease, stroke/transient ischaemic attack or death from cardiovascular causes. The model was adjusted for age, sex, diagnosis, methotrexate use, prednisone use, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory use, smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes and functional status (Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Score). RESULTS: There were 4140 patients included in the analysis, totalling 19,627 patient-years. After multivariate adjustment, the CVE risk was reduced with anti-TNF use (HR 0.85, 95% CI 0.76-0.95) or other biologic therapies (HR 0.81, 95% CI 0.70-0.95), but not in those who had ceased biologic therapy (HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.83-1.11). After adjustment, no significant difference in CVE risk was observed between participants with RA and PsA (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.77-1.10) or AS (HR 1.14, 95% CI 0.96-1.36). CONCLUSIONS: Current biologic use was associated with a reduction in major CVEs. No reduction in CVE risk was seen in those who had ceased biologic therapy. After adjustment, the CVE risk was not significantly different between RA, AS or PsA.
Keywords: Biologicals; Cardiovascular disease; Rheumatoid arthritis; Psoriatic arthritis; Ankylosing spondylitis
Description: Published online: 07 August 2018
Rights: © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI: 10.1186/s13075-018-1669-x
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