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Biologic use in psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis patients: a descriptive epidemiological study using linked, routine data in Wales, UK

Cooksey, Roxanne, Rahman, Muhammad Azizur, Kennedy, Jonathan, Brophy, Sinead and Choy, Ernest 2021. Biologic use in psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis patients: a descriptive epidemiological study using linked, routine data in Wales, UK. Rheumatology Advances in Practice 5 (2) , rkab042. 10.1093/rap/rkab042

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Objectives PsA and AS are chronic diseases associated with significant morbidities. National and international management guidelines include treatment with biologic therapies to improve outcomes and quality of life. There are limited real-world data on the patients’ journey from symptom onset to diagnosis and treatment in the UK. We use real-life, linked health data to explore patient pathways and the impact of biologics on patient outcomes. Methods Data from the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage databank in Wales were used to assess diagnosis and treatment of patients ≥18 years of age with at least one International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision code present for PsA/AS in rheumatology clinic data and at least one Read code present in primary care records. We investigated the use of biologics while exploring demographics, comorbidities and surgical procedures of 641 AS patients and 1312 PsA patients. Results AS patients were significantly younger at diagnosis and were predominantly male. The average time from presenting symptoms to diagnosis of AS and PsA was 7.9 (S.D. 5.5) and 9.3 (S.D. 5.5) years, respectively. The proportion of patients receiving biologic treatment was significantly higher in AS (46%) compared with PsA patients (28.8%); of these, 23.1% of AS and 22.2% of PsA patients stopped/switched a biologic. There was a significant reduction in primary care involvement, sick notes and disability living allowance for both AS and PsA patients following biologic initiation. Conclusion This real-world descriptive study confirms that patients treated with biologics have reduced disability and time off work despite being initiated ∼13 years after the first symptoms and 6 years after diagnosis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 2514-1775
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: 11 June 2021
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2022 08:30

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