In a nutshell
This study looked at the risk of blood clots in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with biologics. It found that there was no significant increase in the risk of blood clots with biologics compared to other RA treatments.
Biologics are a newer type of treatment for RA. They are usually made from proteins and interact with the immune system to reduce inflammation.
RA is associated with an increased risk of developing blood clots. It is not clear whether biologics further increase the risk of blood clots in these patients.
Methods & findings
Records for all RA patients registered with the National Health Insurance database between 2003 and 2016 were reviewed. Overall, 28,873 patients were included in this study. 7,062 patients were treated with biologics. 21,811 patients were treated with other RA treatments. Patients records were reviewed for instances of blood clots requiring treatment.
The occurrence of blood clots in the biologics group was slightly higher (by 11%) compared to the control group. Overall the difference in the occurrence of clots between the two groups was not significant. The risk of blood clots was higher with biologics in patients aged over 75 years and those who have had a bone fracture in the legs.
The bottom line
This study did not show a significantly increased risk of blood clots with biologics compared to other RA medications.
The fine print
This study is based on medical records. Important information such as other medical conditions and other risk factors for blood clots were not available. This might have influenced the results. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
Aug 23, 2021