Frailty and Risk of Serious Infections in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated With Biologic or Targeted-Synthetic Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs

Namrata Singh, Laura S. Gold, Jiha Lee, Katherine D. Wysham, James S. Andrews, Una E. Makris, Bryant R. England, Michael D. George, Joshua F. Baker, Jeffrey Jarvik, Patrick J. Heagerty, Siddharth Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: It remains unknown whether frailty status portends an increased risk of adverse outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) initiating biologic or targeted-synthetic (b/ts) disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The objective of our study was to evaluate the association between frailty and serious infections in a younger population of patients (<65 years old) with RA who initiated b/tsDMARDs. Methods: Using MarketScan data, we identified new users of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi), non-TNFi biologic DMARDs, or Janus kinase inhibitors (JAKi) between 2008 and 2019 among those with RA. Patients’ baseline frailty risk score was calculated using a Claims-Based Frailty Index (≥0.2 defined as frail) 12 months prior to drug initiation. The primary outcome was time to serious infection; secondarily, we examined time-to-any infection and all-cause hospitalizations. We used Cox proportional hazards to estimate adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) and assessed the significance of interaction terms between frailty status and drug class. Results: A total of 57,980 patients, mean (±SD) age 48.1 ± 10.1 were included; 48,139 (83%) started TNFi, 8,111 (14%) non-TNFi biologics, and 1,730 (3%) JAKi. Among these, 3,560 (6%) were categorized as frail. Frailty was associated with a 50% increased risk of serious infections (adjusted hazard ratio [95% CI] 1.5, 1.2–1.9) and 40% higher risk of inpatient admissions (1.4 [1.3–1.6]) compared with nonfrail patients among those who initiated TNFi. Frailty was also associated with a higher risk of any infection relative to nonfrail patients among those on TNFi (1.2 [1.1–1.3]) or non-TNFi (1.2 [1.0–1.4]) or JAKi (1.4 [1.0–2.0]). Conclusion: Frailty is an important predictor for the risk of adverse outcomes among patients with RA treated with biologic or targeted-synthetic DMARDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-635
Number of pages9
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Volume76
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Frailty and Risk of Serious Infections in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated With Biologic or Targeted-Synthetic Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this