Watch for VTEs Early in TNF Inhibitor Course

Cohort study reports link between bDMARDs and VTE.

There are now more data to ponder as one considers the relation between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment and the risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) — a cohort study, based on a review of insurance claims, reports a modest link betweenbiological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) and VTE.

It also found an increased relative incidence in hospitalization for VTE. The risk is greatest in the first 180 days of treatment.

However, the absolute increase in risk is low, at under 1%.

The investigators identified 29,481 RA patientswho were treated with conventional DMARDs, methotrexate, or bDMARDs for up to a year.

During follow-up, there were 191 VTE events, 31 of them tied to bDMARD use and 29 of those to tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors.

While few of the comparisons were statistically significant, the hazard ratio of VTE for bDMARDs versus conventional DMARDs in the first 180 days was 2.48 (95% confidence interval: 1.14-5.39).

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