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Researchers in the NEO-RACo Study Group studied adverse events (AEs) in relation to disease activity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
They followed 99 ERA patients who started intensive treatment with three conventional synthetic DMARDs (csDMARDs) and oral prednisolone, and were randomized to a 6-month induction treatment with infliximab or placebo. AEs were scored and related to disease activity, including the 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28) and remission rates at 12 and 24 months.
These patients averaged 5.4 ± 4.3 AEs (total 331) and 8% (27) experienced severe or serious AE.
24% of AE lead to drug discontinuation that was temporary (n = 52) or permanent (n = 27) .
Far more discontinuations and AEs were seen with increasing tertiles of DAS28 activity.
An overall higher burden of AEs is associated with higher disease activity and lower likelihood of remission in early RA.