Biologicals (Also) Show No Added Mortality Risk in Treating Autoimmune Disorders


A large cohort study from Kaiser Permanente shows no increased mortality risk from the use of TNF-alpha inhibitors for rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic disorders.

Close on the heels of a longitudinal study show an association between methotrexate use and extended lifespan in RA patients, a separate study by researchers from Kaiser Permanente of Oakland CA has found no increased mortality risk among patients who use anti-TNF-alpha therapy for autoimmune disorders.

The researchers analyzed records for nearly 29,000 patients who took etanercept, adalimumab, or infliximab between 1998 and 2007 and compared them with those of more than 17,000 patients who used non-biologic treatments alone. The medications were prescribed for commonly treated rheumatic diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, as well as for inflammatory bowel disease.

There was no increase in mortality associated with use of any of the medications, and no important mortality difference between any of the three anti-TNF medications.

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