EULAR Annual Congress
EULAR Annual Congress
July 05, 2017
1 min read

Rate of joint replacement in patients with RA declined after inclusion of biologics in treatment guidelines

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MADRID — Among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the incidence of knee and hip replacement declined after the introduction of biologics to national treatment guidelines, according to a recently published analysis.

“Our findings show a clear downward trend in these two operations in [rheumatoid arthritis] RA patients in Denmark since the additions of [biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs] bDMARDs to treatment protocols,” Lene Dreyer, MD, from the Center for Rheumatology and Spine Diseases in Denmark, said. “Also, the overall pattern of our findings is in line with those recently reported from England and Wales.”

Dreyer and colleagues assessed 30,868 patients diagnosed with RA at the rheumatology department between 1996 and 2011 and compared them with 301,527 controls from the general population. The baseline total knee replacement incidence rate per 1,000 person-years was 5.87 for RA vs. 0.42 for controls. The change per year after 2003 was –0.2 for RA and 0.08 for controls. For total hip replacement, the baseline rates were 8.72 for RA and 2.89 for controls. The per-year change post-2003 was –0.38 for RA and 0.02 for controls.

“In addition, a more widespread use of conventional DMARDs and the treat-to-target strategy may have contributed to this positive development,” Dreyer said in the release. – by Will A. Offit


Dreyer L, et al. Abstract #OP0251. Presented at: EULAR Annual Congress; June 14-17, 2017; Madrid.

Disclosures: Dreyer reported no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full abstract for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.