Background: Limited information exists on the impact of tumor necrosis factor inhibition on COPD exacerbations. This retrospective study characterized this impact among COPD patients with underlying autoimmune conditions, exposed to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) and/or non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
Patients and methods: Adult COPD patients with ≥1 diagnosis for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis (PsO), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), or ankylosing spondylitis (AS) before or within 6 months following the index COPD diagnosis were identified from the Truven Health MarketScan® databases. Patients were required to have a second claim for RA, PsO, PsA, AS, or DMARD use (biologic or non-biologic) prior to or up to 6 months following the index date. Incidence of COPD-related hospitalizations and emergency room (ER) visits was evaluated in relation to treatment with TNFi and/or DMARDs and other potential risk factors.
Results: The study cohort included 40,687 patients (untreated, 37.7%; non-biologic DMARD, 35.4%; TNFi + non-biologic DMARD, 18%; TNFi, 8.8%). The proportion of patients with a COPD-related hospitalization and the incidence of COPD-related hospitalization (per 100 person-years) were lowest in the TNFi cohort (8.6%; 3.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.16–3.95) and the TNFi + non-biologic DMARD cohort (8.4%; 2.85, 95% CI: 2.63–3.08). In multivariate models, treatment with TNFi + non-biologic DMARD reduced the risk of COPD-related hospitalization or ER visits by 32% relative to non-biologic DMARDs (hazard ratio: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.61–0.75).
Conclusion: In real-world settings, TNFi monotherapy confers similar risk for COPD-related hospitalization or ER visits as a non-biologic DMARD. Decreased risk was found among those treated with both TNFi and a non-biologic DMARD.

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Published in International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, v. 12, p. 2085-2094.

© 2017 Accortt et al.

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This manuscript, and the work described herein, was funded by Amgen Inc.