Background: Polypharmacy is steadily increasing in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They may interfere with treatment response and the occurrence of serious adverse events. Medications taken by a patient may reflect active comorbidities, whereas comorbidity indices usually used include past or current diseases.
Objectives: To evaluate whether polypharmarcy is associated with treatment response and adverse events in an early RA cohort and to establish whether polypharmacy could represent a substitute of comorbidities.
Methods: We used data from the French cohort ESPOIR, including 813 patients with early onset arthritis. Patients included the current study had to start their first disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) within 24 months of inclusion in the cohort. Disease activity data were collected at one, five and ten years from the initiation of the first DMARD. For each patient, treatments were collected at baseline and at five years. Medications count included all specialties other than background RA therapy, analgesics/NSAIDs and topicals. Polypharmacy was defined as a categorical variable based on the median and tertiles of distribution in the cohort. Treatment response was assessed by achieving DAS28 ESR remission (REM) at 1 year, 5 years and 10 years from the initiation of the first DMARD. The occurrence of severe adverse events (SAE) was measured by the occurrence of severe infection, hospitalization, or death during the 10-year follow-up. The association between patient’s characteristics and achievement of REM and occurrence of SAE were tested in univariate analysis. A logistic regression model was used to evaluate associations between polypharmacy and REM at 1 year, 5 years and 10 years (we used baseline polypharmacy for the 1-year analysis and five years polypharmacy for the 5- and 10-years analyses). Multivariate adjustment was made for age, sex, BMI, duration of disease, initial DAS28 ESR, initial HAQ, smoking status, rheumatic disease comorbidity index (RDCI).
Results: The proportion of patients who achieved REM one year after the initiation of the first DMARD was 32.1% in the polypharmacy according to the median group (patients taken ≥2 medication) versus 67.9% in the non-polypharmacy group (p=0.07). At 5 years after the first DMARD, the proportion of patients with REM was 45.0% in the polypharmacy group versus 56.3% in the non-polypharmacy group (p=0.03). At 10 years the proportion of patients with REM was 32.5% in the polypharmacy group versus 67.5% (p=0.06). Patients who take greater or equal to 2 medications had a 40% lower probability of achieving REM (OR = 0.60 [0.38-0.94] p = 0.03) at 5 years from the first DMARD (if RDCI index was not included in the model). At 10 years, patients receiving multiple medications had a 43% lower probability of achieving REM (OR = 0.57 [0.34-0.94] p = 0.02). SAE incidence was 61 per 1000 patient-years. For patients who developed SAE all causes 71.4% where in the polypharmacy group versus 57.8% were in the non-polypharmacy group (p = 0.03; univariate analysis). These results are no longer significant after adjustment for comorbidities indices.
Conclusion: In this early RA cohort, polypharmacy is associated with a poorer treatment response and increased risk of adverse events. Polypharmacy may represent a good substitute of comorbidities for epidemiological studies.
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Nathalie Rincheval (Montpellier) who did expert monitoring and data management and all theinvestigators who recruited and followed the patients (F. Berenbaum, Paris-Saint Antoine; MC. Boissier, Paris-Bobigny; A. Cantagrel, Toulouse; B. Combe, Montpellier; M. Dougados, Paris-Cochin; P. Fardellone and P. Boumier, Amiens; B. Fautrel, Paris-La Pitié; RM. Flipo, Lille; Ph. Goupille, Tours; F. Liote, Paris- Lariboisière; O. Vittecoq, Rouen; X. Mariette, Paris-Bicêtre; P. Dieude, Paris Bichat; A. Saraux, Brest; T. Schaeverbeke, Bordeaux; and J. Sibilia, Strasbourg).
The work reported on in the manuscript did not benefit from any financial support. The ESPOIR cohort is sponsored by the French Society for Rheumatology. An unrestricted grant from Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) was allocated for the first 5 years. Two additional grants from INSERM were obtained to support part of the biological database. Pfizer, Abbvie, Lilly and more recently Fresenius and Biogen also supported the ESPOIR cohort.
Disclosure of Interests: Soraya Benamar: None declared, Cédric Lukas Speakers bureau: Abbvie, Amgen, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche-Chugai, UCB, Consultant of: Abbvie, Amgen, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche-Chugai, UCB, Grant/research support from: Pfizer, Novartis and Roche-Chugai, Claire Daien Speakers bureau: AbbVie, Abivax, BMS, MSD, Roche, Chugai, Novartis, Pfizer, Sandoz, Lilly, Consultant of: AbbVie, Abivax, BMS, MSD, Roche, Chugai, Novartis, Pfizer, Sandoz, Lilly, Cécile Gaujoux-Viala Speakers bureau: Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Janssen, Medac, MSD, Nordic Pharma, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Roche-Chugai, UCB, Consultant of: Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Janssen, Medac, MSD, Nordic Pharma, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Roche-Chugai, UCB, Grant/research support from: Pfizer, Laure Gossec Speakers bureau: AbbVie, Amgen, Biogen, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Sandoz, Sanofi-Aventis et UCB, Consultant of: AbbVie, Amgen, Biogen, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Sandoz, Sanofi-Aventis et UCB, Anne-Christine Rat Speakers bureau: Pfizer, Lilly, Consultant of: Pfizer, Lilly, Bernard Combe Speakers bureau: AbbVie; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Gilead; Janssen; Lilly; Merck; Novartis; Pfizer; Roche-Chugai; and Sanofi;, Consultant of: AbbVie; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Gilead; Janssen; Lilly; Merck; Novartis; Pfizer; Roche-Chugai; and Sanofi;, Grant/research support from: Novartis, Pfizer, and Roche-Chugai., Jacques Morel Speakers bureau: Abbvie, BMS, Lilly, Médac, MSD, Nordic Pharma, Pfizer, UCB, Consultant of: Abbvie, BMS, Lilly, Médac, MSD, Nordic Pharma, Pfizer, UCB, Grant/research support from: BMS, Pfizer
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