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Control of disease activity and biologic treatment increase life expectency in RA patients
Date:6/7/2012

Berlin, Germany, June 7 2012: According to a study presented today at EULAR 2012, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are prescribed biologic treatments have a significantly lower mortality risk (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 0.61) than those just treated with traditional disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).The study also found the mortality was similar irrespective of the method of action of biologics (anti-tumour necrosis factor drugs [anti-TNFs] or rituximab).

Results of the German study of 8,908 patients demonstrated that the mortality rate decreased from 20.6 in those treated with non-biologic DMARDS to 10.6 in those exposed to anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNFs) drugs, and likewise to 12.7 for those treated with rituximab.

Further analyses showed that men and women with RA had a shortened life expectancy of 2.2 years compared to the general population. Patients with a mean DAS28* below 4.1 had normal life expectancies whereas of patients with a mean DAS28 score of >4.1 women died 5.6 years earlier than age and sex matched subjects from the general population, whilst males died 4.8 years earlier.

"It is well-known that patients with RA have lower life expectancies than the general population," said Dr. Joachim Listing, German Rheumatism Research Centre Berlin, Germany and lead study author. "Our study demonstrates the positive impact that biologic treatment can have on patient's life expectancy.

According to the researchers, a significant association between disease activity and mortality risk was observed by multivariate Cox regression within the patient sample. Cox proportional hazard regression was applied to investigate the influence of the time varying DAS28 scores, functional capacity and treatments on mortality risk after adjustment for age, sex, eight co-morbid conditions and smoking. The primary analysis was based on a risk
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Contact: Candice Debleu
eularpressoffice@cohnwolfe.com
44-789-438-6425
European League Against Rheumatism
Source:Eurekalert

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