New publications spring 2018

New publications using SCQM data have appeared. Subjects covered are cardiovascular risks, gender issues in axial spondyloarthritis, x-ray progression in rheumatoid arthritis and the usefulness of sonography for tracking remission in rheumatoid arthritis. Below, we provide a short summary of each of these publications.

Is MACE a specific problem in Rheumatoid Arthritis or are other inflammatory rheumatic diseases similarly affected?

A study from Kim Lauper and colleagues (HUG) compared the risk for major cardiovascular adverse events (MACE) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) and psoriasis arthritis (PsA). The crude incidence rate for MACE was higher in patients with RA than in PsA or axSpA, but this difference was largely explained by differences in gender and age of patients between diseases. Hence the authors conclude that the management of a patient's cardiovascular risks is an important goal for patients in all these inflammatory rheumatic diseases. This study was awarded the Abbvie Rheumatology grant in 2012.

Is longer disease duration still associated with higher radiographic progression?

Katja Heinimann from the cantonal hospital St. Gallen and colleagues looked at SCQM patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis at their last recorded visit and investigated whether the x-ray progression at the end of the patients observation period was associated with disease duration. Indeed, patients had on average 8% more radiographic damage progression as measured by the Ratingen score for each additional year of disease duration.

Do women with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) respond less well to treatment with TNF inhibitors than men?

In this study from the university hospital Zurich by Monika Hebeisen and colleagues 440 patients with AS and their response to TNF inhibitors were analysed. This large study was able to confirm previous findings that women, despite having a similar burden of disease, on average respond less well to to TNFi. This study was awarded the Abbvie Rheumatology grant in 2013.

Can Ultrasound be used to predict loss of remission in patients with RA?

Several studies, performed in few centres and controlled settings, have suggested that patients with residual synovitis in clinical remission tend to have a higher risk for loss of remission. Pascal Zufferey and colleagues from the SONAR group aimed to transfer these results into real-life clinical practice, analysing the SONAR scores collected in the SCQM. Signs of inflammation as measured by the SONAR score were associated with a shorter time in remission. In analyses adjusted for potential confounders, the hazard for loss of remission was approximately doubled for patients with residual synovitis, however, this was only true for the short term risk of loss of remission.