Little data are available regarding the rate and predicting factors of serious infections in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with abatacept (ABA) in daily practice. We therefore addressed this issue using real-life data from the Orencia and Rheumatoid Arthritis (ORA) registry.Methods
ORA is an independent 5-year prospective registry promoted by the French Society of Rheumatology that includes patients with RA treated with ABA. At baseline, 3 months, 6 months and every 6 months or at disease relapse, during 5 years, standardised information is prospectively collected by trained clinical nurses. A serious infection was defined as an infection occurring during treatment with ABA or during the 3 months following withdrawal of ABA without any initiation of a new biologic and requiring hospitalisation and/or intravenous antibiotics and/or resulting in death.Results
Baseline characteristics and comorbidities: among the 976 patients included with a follow-up of at least 3 months (total follow-up of 1903 patient-years), 78 serious infections occurred in 69 patients (4.1/100 patient-years). Predicting factors of serious infections: on univariate analysis, an older age, history of previous serious or recurrent infections, diabetes and a lower number of previous anti-tumour necrosis factor were associated with a higher risk of serious infections. On multivariate analysis, only age (HR per 10-year increase 1.44, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.76, p=0.001) and history of previous serious or recurrent infections (HR 1.94, 95% CI 1.18 to 3.20, p=0.009) were significantly associated with a higher risk of serious infections.Conclusions
In common practice, patients treated with ABA had more comorbidities than in clinical trials and serious infections were slightly more frequently observed. In the ORA registry, predictive risk factors of serious infections include age and history of serious infections.