HSR&D Citation Abstracts
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Dalal DS, Duran J, Brar T, Alqadi R, Halladay C, Lakhani A, Rudolph JL. Efficacy and safety of biological agents in the older rheumatoid arthritis patients compared to Young: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2019 Apr 1; 48(5):799-807.
Biologic anti-rheumatic drugs are used with less frequency among older patients compared to young patients. This population is less represented in studies performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of this drugs. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of biological agents between the older RA patients compared to young.
A comprehensive, systematic search was conducted in major indexing databases using key terms for RA and each biological agent. The review process was completed by 2 investigators. Both randomized controlled trials and observational studies of at least 6-month duration conducted in adult RA patients were included. Outcomes of interest were clinical efficacy and safety. Effect-estimates were pooled using random-effects modeling if 4 or more studies used the same scale and time-frame for measuring outcomes.
24 studies (16 focusing on anti-TNF agents) representing 63,705 patients (24% were older) were included. Older RA patients had worse baseline RA disease activity, longer disease duration at the time of enrollment in the trial (14.4?±?3.6 vs. 10.9?±?3.6 years; p?0.001) and higher steroid use (73.2 vs. 64.7%, p?0.001) than younger. 5 out of 6 studies assessing anti-TNF agents showed worse efficacy outcomes in older patients. The pooled OR of infection and ADRs with anti-TNF agents in older compared to young RA patients was OR 1.59 (95% CI: 1.45-1.76) and 1.40 (95% CI: 1.23-1.61) respectively.
Older patients had worse safety and efficacy with biological agents but also had worse baseline disease activity. There was significant heterogeneity in reporting outcomes and very limited studies in biological agents other than anti-TNF drugs.