Objective: Although the proportion of elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is increasing, the persistency of biologic therapy in elderly patients requires additional investigation. This study evaluated the drug survival of biologic therapy and associated factors in elderly compared with nonelderly patients. Methods: This longitudinal observational study included RA patients who were enrolled in the Korean College of Rheumatology Biologics Registry (NCT01965132, started from January 1, 2013) between 2013 and 2015. We compared the retention rate of biologic therapy between elderly (age ≥70 years) and nonelderly (age <70 years) patients, and investigated the causes and predictors of biologic withdrawal in both groups. Results: Of 682 patients, 122 were aged 70 years or older. The retention rate of biologic therapy at 24 months was 57.8% and 46.5% in nonelderly and elderly patients, respectively (p = 0.027). Biologic withdrawal due to adverse events and inefficacy within 24 months was not significantly different between the 2 groups, although adverse events were more common in elderly patients (20.6% vs 12.8%, p = 0.360). Drug withdrawal due to patient refusal was more common in elderly patients (9.8% vs 1.8%, p < 0.001). In elderly patients, biologic withdrawal was associated with current smoking and older age at disease onset, whereas the use of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, nonuse of methotrexate, and combination of corticosteroid were important in nonelderly patients. Conclusions: Elderly RA patients are more likely to discontinue biologic agents within 24 months. To increase the retention rate of biologic therapy, rheumatologists should consider patient characteristics before and during biologic therapy.
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Rheumatology|
|Publication status||Published - 2022 Jan 1|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank all investigators and patients who participated in the KOBIO registry. The registry was funded by the Korean College of Rheumatology, which had no involvement in the study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of the data, in writing the manuscript, or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. They also appreciate the Editage from Cactus for English editing.
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