Comparative Risk of Diabetes Mellitus in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated With Biologic or Targeted Synthetic Disease-Modifying Drugs: A Cohort Study

Date Published:

2020 Apr


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to compare the risk of incident diabetes mellitus (DM) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with biologic or targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. METHODS: A new-user observational cohort study was conducted using data from a US commercial (Truven MarketScan, 2005-2016) claims database and a public insurance (Medicare, 2010-2014) claims database. Patients with RA who did not have DM were selected into one of eight exposure groups (abatacept, infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, tocilizumab, or tofacitinib) and observed for the outcome of incident DM, defined as a combination of a diagnosis code and initiation of a hypoglycemic treatment. A stabilized inverse probability-weighted Cox proportional hazards model was used to account for 56 confounding variables and estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). All analyses were conducted separately in two databases, and estimates were combined using inverse variance meta-analysis. RESULTS: Among a total of 50 505 patients with RA from Truven and 17 251 patients with RA from Medicare, incidence rates (95% CI) for DM were 6.8 (6.1-7.6) and 6.6 (5.4-7.9) per 1000 person-years, respectively. After confounding adjustment, the pooled HRs (95% CI) indicated a significantly higher risk of DM among adalimumab (2.00 [1.11-3.03]) and infliximab initiators (2.34 [1.38-3.98]) compared with abatacept initiators. The pooled HR (95% CI) for the etanercept versus abatacept comparison was elevated but not statistically significant (1.65 [0.91-2.98]). The effect estimates for certolizumab, golimumab, tocilizumab, and tofacitinib, compared with abatacept, were highly imprecise because of a limited sample size. CONCLUSION: Initiation of abatacept was associated with a lower risk of incident DM in patients with RA compared with infliximab or adalimumab.
Last updated on 07/09/2021