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Risk of serious infection with biologic and systemic treatment of psoriasis: results from the Psoriasis Longitudinal Assessment and Registry (PSOLAR)

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Published:31st Aug 2015
Author: Kalb RE, Fiorentino DF, Lebwohl MG, Toole J, Poulin Y, Cohen AD, et al.
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Ref.:JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Sep;151(9):961-9.
Risk of Serious Infection With Biologic and Systemic Treatment of Psoriasis: Results From the Psoriasis Longitudinal Assessment and Registry (PSOLAR)

The efficacy of treatment for psoriasis must be balanced against potential adverse events.

Objective: To determine the effect of treatment on the risk of serious infections in patients with psoriasis.

Design, setting, and participants: A multicenter, longitudinal, disease-based registry (Psoriasis Longitudinal Assessment and Registry [PSOLAR]) at dermatology centers. Participants were adult patients with psoriasis who were receiving or were eligible to receive conventional systemic or biologic agents. The registry opened on June 20, 2007, and data included herein were collected through August 23, 2013.

Exposures: Patients were prescribed psoriasis therapies as in standard clinical practice. Patients will be followed for up to 8 years. Data were collected and serious adverse events (including serious infections) were assessed at regular intervals.

Main outcomes and measures: Cohort characteristics are described based on evaluation at entry into the registry. The cumulative incidence rates of serious infections are reported across treatment cohorts, including ustekinumab, infliximab, adalimumab, etanercept, and nonbiologics (with or without methotrexate). A multivariate analysis using a Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to identify predictors of the time to the first serious infection using the nonmethotrexate/nonbiologics cohort as the reference.

Results: Data were analyzed from 11,466 patients with psoriasis (22,311 patient-years). Differences in patient characteristics were found between the biologics and nonmethotrexate/nonbiologics cohorts (eg, age, sex, body mass index, and disease characteristics), as well as among the individual biologic groups (eg, a higher prevalence of psoriatic arthritis in the infliximab cohort). The cumulative incidence rate of serious infections was 1.45 per 100 patient-years (n = 323) across treatment cohorts, and the rates were 0.83, 1.47, 1.97, and 2.49 per 100 patient-years in the ustekinumab, etanercept, adalimumab, and infliximab cohorts, respectively, and 1.05 and 1.28 per 100 patient-years in the nonmethotrexate/nonbiologics and methotrexate/nonbiologics cohorts, respectively. The most commonly reported types of serious infections across the registry were pneumonia and cellulitis. Increasing age, diabetes mellitus, smoking, significant infection history, infliximab exposure, and adalimumab exposure were each associated with an increased risk of serious infection.

Conclusions and relevance: Results from PSOLAR suggest a higher risk of serious infections with adalimumab and infliximab compared with nonmethotrexate and nonbiologic therapies. No increased risk was observed with ustekinumab or etanercept.

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