Health-related quality of life and continuation rate on first-line anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy among rheumatoid arthritis patients from the Australian Rheumatology Association Database
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Objectives: To describe changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) up to 60 months after commencing anti-TNF therapy for RA patients enrolled in the Australian Rheumatology Association Database (ARAD), and to determine the continuation rate and predictors of discontinuation of first-line anti-TNF therapy. Methods: Responses to the HAQ, Assessment of Quality of Life, Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36) and European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) were extracted from ARAD for patients commencing anti-TNF therapy and analysed in 6-monthly intervals from the start date. Predictors of discontinuation of therapy were assessed using Cox regression. Results: Since September 2001, 2601 RA patients have enrolled in ARAD; 1801 have used anti-TNF therapy. Before starting the therapy, all HRQoL scores were below the population norms, but showed improvements in the first 6 months. From 12 to 60 months, HRQoL remained stable but below population means. Data to 60 months were available for 106 patients; 47% were still on first-line therapy at 5 years, all were using concurrent DMARDs and 55% were using concurrent prednisolone. Predictors of discontinuation of therapy were poorer HRQoL scores, a more recent therapy start date, concurrent prednisolone use and self-reported severe infection. Older patients and those with longer symptom duration were more likely to remain on therapy. Conclusions: In routine practice, HRQoL scores improve rapidly within 6 months of starting anti-TNFs and then remain stable for up to 60 months. Almost half remain on first-line therapy. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved.
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