PloS one 2016 Nov 1011(11) e0166339 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0166339
To investigate the risk of tuberculosis (TB) among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients within 1 year after initiation of tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) therapy from 2008 to 2012.
We used the 2003-2013 Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database to identify RA patients who started any RA-related medical therapy from 2008 to 2012. Those who initiated etanercept or adalimumab therapy during 2008-2012 were selected as the TNFi group and those who never received biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug therapy were identified as the comparison group after excluding the patients who had a history of TB or human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immune deficiency syndrome. We used propensity score matching (1:6) for age, sex, and the year of the drug index date to re-select the TNFi group and the non-TNFi controls. After adjusting for potential confounders, hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to examine the 1-year TB risk in the TNFi group compared with the non-TNFi controls. Subgroup analyses according to the year of treatment initiation and specific TNFi therapy were conducted to assess the trend of 1-year TB risk in TNFi users from 2008 to 2012.
This study identified 5,349 TNFi-treated RA patients and 32,064 matched non-TNFi-treated controls. The 1-year incidence rates of TB were 1,513 per 105 years among the TNFi group and 235 per 105 years among the non-TNFi controls (incidence rate ratio, 6.44; 95% CI, 4.69-8.33). After adjusting for age, gender, disease duration, comoridities, history of TB, and concomitant medications, TNFi users had an increased 1-year TB risk (HR, 7.19; 95% CI, 4.18-12.34) compared with the non-TNFi-treated controls. The 1-year TB risk in TNFi users increased from 2008 to 2011 and deceased in 2012 when the Food and Drug Administration in Taiwan announced the Risk Management Plan for patients scheduled to receive TNFi therapy.
This study showed that the 1-year TB risk in RA patients starting TNFi therapy was significantly higher than that in non-TNFi controls in Taiwan from 2008 to 2012.