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Association between tobacco smoking and response to tumour necrosis factor α inhibitor treatment in psoriatic arthritis: results from the DANBIO registry


Objectives To investigate the association between tobacco smoking and disease activity, treatment adherence and treatment responses among patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) initiating the first tumour necrosis factor α inhibitor therapy (TNFi) in routine care.

Methods Observational cohort study based on the Danish nationwide DANBIO registry. Kaplan–Meier plots, logistic and Cox regression analyses by smoking status (current/previous/never smoker) were calculated for treatment adherence, ACR20/50/70-responses and EULAR-good-response. Additional stratified analyses were performed according to gender and TNFi-subtype (adalimumab/etanercept/infliximab).

Results Among 1388 PsA patients included in the study, 1148 (83%) had known smoking status (33% current, 41% never and 26% previous smokers). Median follow-up time was 1.22 years (IQR 0.44–2.96). At baseline, current smokers had lower Body Mass Index (27 kg/m2 (23–30)/28 kg/m2 (24–31)) (median (IQR)), shorter disease duration (3 years (1–8)/5 years (2–10)), lower swollen joint count (2 (0–5)/3 (1–6)), higher visual-analogue-scale (VAS) patient global (72 mm (54–87)/68 mm (50–80)), VAS fatigue (72 mm (51–86)/63 mm (40–77)) and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score (1.1 (0.7 to 1.5)/1.0 (0.5 to 1.5)) than never smokers (all p<0.05). Current smokers had shorter treatment adherence than never smokers (1.56 years (0.97 to 2.15)/2.43 years (1.88 to 2.97), (median (95% CI)), log rank p=0.02) and poorer 6 months’ EULAR-good-response rates (23%/34%), ACR20 (24%/33%) and ACR50 response rates (17%/24%) (all p<0.05), most pronounced in men. In current smokers, the treatment adherence was poorer for infliximab (HR) 1.62, 95% CI 1.06 to 2.48) and etanercept (HR 1.74, 1.14 to 2.66) compared to never smokers, but not for adalimumab (HR 0.80, 0.52 to 1.23).

Conclusion In PsA, smokers had worse baseline patient-reported outcomes, shorter treatment adherence and poorer response to TNFi's compared to non-smokers. This was most pronounced in men and in patients treated with infliximab or etanercept.

  • TNF-alpha
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Smoking
  • Treatment
  • Outcomes research

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