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J Rheumatol. 2006 Apr;33(4):681-9. Epub 2006 Mar 1.

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis patients with abatacept and methotrexate significantly improved health-related quality of life.

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  • 1Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Research Unit, University of Leeds, UK. p.emery@leeds.ac.uk



This study examined the effect of abatacept, a costimulation modulator, on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Three hundred thirty-nine patients with RA on a background of methotrexate (MTX), who participated in a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, were randomized to abatacept 2 mg/kg, abatacept 10 mg/kg, or placebo. HRQOL was assessed at pretreatment, and at 3, 6, and 12 months posttreatment using the SF-36 Health Survey (SF-36). Changes in SF-36 scores from baseline to 12 months were compared across treatment and placebo groups to examine HRQOL benefits of abatacept. A link between American College of Rheumatology improvement and changes in SF-36 scores was established to demonstrate the association between HRQOL outcomes and clinical response.


After 12 months of treatment, patients randomized to abatacept 10 mg/kg showed significantly better HRQOL outcomes overall versus patients randomized to placebo (MANOVA F = 4.71, p < 0.001) or to abatacept 2 mg/kg (MANOVA F = 1.97, p = 0.05). Differences in SF-36 change scores between abatacept 10 mg/kg and placebo groups reached statistical significance on all 8 domain scales, the 2 summary measures, and the SF-36 utility index (SF-6D). Differences in SF-36 change scores between abatacept 10 mg/kg and abatacept 2 mg/kg reached statistical significance on 5 of the 8 domain scales, the physical summary measure, and the SF-6D. Improvement in HRQOL was highly related to clinical response. CONCLUSION Abatacept 10 mg/kg plus MTX demonstrated a stronger HRQOL response than placebo plus MTX. The abatacept 2 mg/kg arm showed a very weak and transient response.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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