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Association between use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and diabetes in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis: a nationwide, population-based cohort study of 84,989 patients

Authors Chen HH, Chen DY, Lin CC, Chen YM, Lai KL, Lin CH

Received 19 December 2016

Accepted for publication 23 March 2017

Published 2 May 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 583—592

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S130666

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Deyun Wang

Hsin-Hua Chen,1–7 Der-Yuan Chen,1–6 Chi-Chen Lin,1,2 Yi-Ming Chen,1–4 Kuo-Lung Lai,3,4 Ching-Heng Lin1

1Department of Medical Research, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, 2Institute of Biomedical Science and Rong Hsing Research Center for Translational Medicine, Chung-Hsing University, Taichung, 3School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, 4Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, 5School of Medicine, Chung-Shan Medical University, 6Department of Medical Education, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, 7Institute of Public Health and Community Medicine Research Center, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan


Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate the association between the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and diabetes mellitus (DM) in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis (PS/PSA).
Patients and methods: This retrospective cohort study used a nationwide, population-based administrative database to enroll 84,989 cases with AS, RA, or PS/PSA who initiated treatment with anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drugs or nonbiologic DMARDs. Multivariable analysis was used to estimate the effect of different therapies on the risk of DM.
Results: The incidence rates of DM per 1,000 person-years were 8.3 for users of anti-TNF drugs, 13.3 for users of cyclosporine (CSA), 8.4 for users of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), and 8.1 for users of other nonbiologic DMARDs. Compared with the users of nonbiologic DMARDs, the multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) for DM were significantly lower for those who used anti-TNF drugs with HCQ (aHR: 0.49, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.36–0.66) and those who used HCQ alone (aHR: 0.70, 95% CI: 0.63–0.78), but not for those who used anti-TNFs without HCQ (aHR: 1.23, 95% CI: 0.94–1.60) or CSA (aHR: 1.14, 95% CI: 0.77–1.70).
Conclusion: The aHR for DM was lowest for patients with RA and PS/PSA who initiated treatment with an anti-TNF agent with concomitant HCQ, followed by HCQ users. Those who used anti-TNF agents without HCQ and other nonbiologic DMARDs had a similar risk of DM.

Keywords: ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, diabetes mellitus

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