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Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 Feb;69(2):352-7. doi: 10.1136/ard.2008.103473. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

Rapid and sustained health utility gain in anti-tumour necrosis factor-treated inflammatory arthritis: observational data during 7 years in southern Sweden.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Lund University Hospital, Sweden.



Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and other spondylarthritides impose a great impact on the individual in addition to the costs on society, which may be reduced by effective pharmacological treatment. Industry-independent health economic studies should complement studies sponsored by industry.


To study secular trends in baseline health utilities in patients commencing tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blockade for arthritis in clinical practice over 7 years; to address utility changes during treatment; to investigate the influence of previous treatment courses; to study the feasibility of health utility measures and to compare them across diagnostic entities.


EuroQoL 5 dimensions (EQ-5D) utility data were collected from a structured clinical follow-up programme of anti-TNF-treated patients with RA (N = 2554), PsA (N = 574) or spondylarthritides (N = 586). Time trends were calculated. Completer analysis was used.


There were weak or non-significant secular trends for increasing baseline utilities over time for RA, PsA and spondylarthritides. The maximum gain in utilities had already occurred after 2 weeks for all diagnoses and remained stable for patients remaining on therapy. The first and second anti-TNF courses performed similarly.


Utilities at inclusion remained largely unchanged for RA, PsA and spondylarthritides over 7 years. Improvement occurred early during treatment and not beyond 6 weeks at the group level. Improvement during the first course was not consistently greater than the second. There were no major differences between RA, PsA and spondylarthritides. EQ-5D proved feasible and applicable across these diagnoses. These "real world" data may be useful for health economic modelling.

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