The effect of glucocorticoid therapy on mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and concomitant type II diabetes: a retrospective cohort study
AuthorsCostello, Ruth E.
Humphreys, Jenny H.
Dixon, William G.; orcid: 0000-0001-5881-4857; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAbstract: Background: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have increased cardiovascular (CV) and mortality risk. Patients with RA are also frequently prescribed glucocorticoids (GCs) which have been associated with increased risk of mortality. In addition, for patients who have concomitant diabetes mellitus (DM), GCs are known to worsen glycaemic control and hence may further increase CV and mortality risk. This study aimed to understand the relationship between GCs, DM and mortality in patients with RA. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with incident RA identified from UK primary care electronic medical records. Patients with linkage to Office for National Statistics (ONS) for mortality data (N = 9085) were included. DM was identified through Read codes, prescriptions and blood tests, and GC use was identified through prescriptions. Mortality rate ratios (RR) and rate differences (RD) were calculated across the different exposure groups. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate interaction on the multiplicative and additive scales. Results: In those without DM GC use had a 4.4-fold increased all-cause mortality RR (95% confidence interval (CI): 3.77 to 5.07) compared to non-use, whilst those with DM had a lower RR for GC use (2.99 (95% CI: 2.32, 3.87)). However, those with DM had a higher RD associated with GC use because of their higher baseline risk. In those with DM, GC use was associated with an additional 44.9 deaths/1000 person-years (pyrs) (95% CI: 32.9 to 56.8) compared to non-use, while in those without DM GC use was associated with an additional 34.4 deaths/1000 pyrs (95% CI: 30.1 to 38.7) compared to non-use, while in those without DM GC use was associated with an additional 36.2 deaths/1000 pyrs (95% CI: 31.6 to 40.8). A similar pattern was seen for CV mortality. The adjusted Cox proportional hazards model showed no evidence of multiplicative interaction, but additive interaction indicated a non-significant increased risk. For CV mortality there was no interaction on either scale. Conclusions: GC use was associated with higher mortality rates in people with comorbid DM compared to people without DM, despite apparently reassuring similar relative risks. Clinicians need to be aware of the higher baseline risk in patients with DM, and consider this when prescribing GCs in patients with RA and comorbid DM.
CitationBMC Rheumatology, volume 4, issue 1, page 4
DescriptionFrom Springer Nature via Jisc Publications Router
History: received 2019-08-18, registration 2019-11-15, accepted 2019-11-15, pub-electronic 2020-02-19, online 2020-02-19, collection 2020-12
Publication status: Published
Funder: Versus Arthritis; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100012041; Grant(s): 21755