The optimal timing of anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) initiation in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) remains unclear. Very little is known about the clinical outcomes after the early versus late initiation of anti-TNF therapy, especially in Asian UC patients. Here we aimed to assess whether earlier anti-TNF treatment initiation results in favorable clinical outcomes in Korean UC patients. Materials and Methods: Using the Korean National Health Insurance claims database, we studied patients who were diagnosed with UC and received anti-TNF therapy for more than 6 months between 2010 and 2016. Using a Cox proportional hazard model, clinical outcomes including colectomy, UC-related emergency room (ER) visits, UC-related hospitalizations, and the need for cor-ticosteroids were compared between early (≤2 years of diagnosis) and late (>2 years of diagnosis) initiators of anti-TNF therapy. Results: Among 17167 UC patients, 698 patients who received anti-TNF therapy for more than 6 months were included (420 inf-liximab, 242 adalimumab, and 36 golimumab). Of the 698 patients, 299 (42.8%) initiated anti-TNF therapy within 2 years of diag-nosis. There were no significant differences in the risk of colectomy [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 0.41; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.04–3.90], ER visits (aHR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.50–1.92), hospitalization (aHR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.57–1.01), and corticosteroid use (aHR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.71–1.50) between early and late initiators of anti-TNF therapy. Conclusion: Patients receiving early anti-TNF therapy had similar clinical outcomes to those of late initiators, suggesting that early anti-TNF therapy initiation offers little benefit in patients with UC.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2020.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes