Anti-TNFα agents in elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a study of a group of 105 over sixty five years old patients

  • M. Filippini |
  • C. Bazzani
  • S. Zingarelli
  • T. Ziglioli
  • M. Nuzzo
  • M. Vianelli
  • C. Biasini Rebaioli
  • R. Cattaneo
  • R. Gorla


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and the safety of anti-TNF-alfa treatment in elderly patients (≥65 years old) with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA), in comparison with younger (17-65 years old). Methods: We considered retrospectively 295 patients, affected by RA and treated with anti-TNF-alfa drugs. They were divided in two groups, according to their age, and followed up for two years: over-65-years old patients (190) and under-65-years old patients (105). Effectiveness of drugs was assessed analyzing RA disease activity (DAS28, DAS44, SDAI), functional status (HAQ) and serological parameters (CRP) before and after anti-TNF-alfa therapy. Safety was studied considering discontinuation rate of biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and collateral events rate. Results: At baseline, elderly patients showed higher disease activity’s score (DAS 28, DAS44, SDAI, HAQ) with important loss of articular function (worse quality of life, HAQ) than younger patients (p<0.05). During the therapy, improvement in clinical parameters was observed (DAS28, DAS44 and SDAI) with no significant difference between the two groups. In elderly patients disability index, on the contrary, improved less than in younger (p<0.05). After treatment, also CRP decreased less in elderly patients (p<0.05). During the follow-up, 74 over-65-years old patients (38.95%) and 116 under-65-years old patients (38.05%) discontinued anti-TNF-alfa therapy because of loss of efficacy (20.52% vs 11.42%), severe adverse events (17.34% vs 25.67%), voluntary discontinuation or good clinical response (1% vs 0.95%). No differences were shown about the frequency and reasons of anti-TNF-alfa withdrawl (p>0.05). Conclusions: Anti-TNF-alfa treatment was efficacious and safe in both groups of patients. These drugs induced improvement in disease activity, apart from the age. No functional improvement was observed in HAQ, showing the irreversible loss of articular function and the incomplete recovery in elderly patients. Age doesn’t interfere with the possibility to treat elderly patients with anti-TNF-alfa drugs.



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How to Cite
Filippini, M., Bazzani, C., Zingarelli, S., Ziglioli, T., Nuzzo, M., Vianelli, M., Biasini Rebaioli, C., Cattaneo, R., & Gorla, R. (1). Anti-TNFα agents in elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a study of a group of 105 over sixty five years old patients. Reumatismo, 60(1), 41-49.

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