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Grundtman C.,Karolinska Institutet | Grundtman C.,Innsbruck Medical University | Hollan I.,Lillehammer Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases | Forre O.T.,University of Oslo | And 3 more authors.
Arthritis and Rheumatism | Year: 2010

Objective. Various inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRDs) are associated with increased mortality due to cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to investigate heart biopsy specimens obtained from patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting and compare markers of inflammation and endothelial cell activation in the cardiac and skeletal muscle of patients with and those without IRD. Methods. Paired biopsy specimens of cardiac and skeletal muscle were obtained from 22 consecutive patients with IRD and 8 patients without IRD, all of whom were undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. The biopsy specimens were evaluated in a blinded manner by conventional microscopy and digital image analysis for cell markers (CD3, CD4, CD8, CD68, CD163, and CD31), HLA (HLA-ABC, HLA-DR, and HLA-DQ), adhesion molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1), and proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1α, interleukin-1β, and tumor necrosis factor). Results. Patients with IRD had significantly higher expression of adhesion molecules, proinflammatory cytokines, and all classes of HLA on cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells but no increase on mononuclear cells in the myocardium compared with patients without IRD. Furthermore, cardiac muscle from patients with IRD displayed significantly higher local expression of inflammation and activation of cardiac microvessels compared with skeletal muscle from the same patients. Conclusion. Patients with cardiovascular disease had increased expression of adhesion molecules, HLA, and proinflammatory cytokines in heart tissue, indicating local inflammation involving microvessels and cardiomyocytes that could play a role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. The more pronounced changes in patients with IRD compared with patients without IRD might contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death in patients with IRD. © 2010, American College of Rheumatology.


Hollan I.,Lillehammer Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases | Dessein P.H.,University of Witwatersrand | Ronda N.,University of Parma | Wasko M.C.,West Penn Hospital Allegheny Health Network | And 9 more authors.
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2015

The increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been recognized for many years. However, although the characteristics of CVD and its burden resemble those in diabetes, the focus on cardiovascular (CV) prevention in RA has lagged behind, both in the clinical and research settings. Similar to diabetes, the clinical picture of CVD in RA may be atypical, even asymptomatic. Therefore, a proactive screening for subclinical CVD in RA is warranted. Because of the lack of clinical trials, the ideal CVD prevention (CVP) in RA has not yet been defined. In this article, we focus on challenges and controversies in the CVP in RA (such as thresholds for statin therapy), and propose recommendations based on the current evidence. Due to the significant contribution of non-traditional, RA-related CV risk factors, the CV risk calculators developed for the general population underestimate the true risk in RA. Thus, there is an enormous need to develop adequate CV risk stratification tools and to identify the optimal CVP strategies in RA. While awaiting results from randomized controlled trials in RA, clinicians are largely dependent on the use of common sense, and extrapolation of data from studies on other patient populations. The CVP in RA should be based on an individualized evaluation of a broad spectrum of risk factors, and include: 1) reduction of inflammation, preferably with drugs decreasing CV risk, 2) management of factors associated with increased CV risk (e.g., smoking, hypertension, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, kidney disease, depression, periodontitis, hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficiency and sleep apnea), and promotion of healthy life style (smoking cessation, healthy diet, adjusted physical activity, stress management, weight control), 3) aspirin and influenza and pneumococcus vaccines according to current guidelines, and 4) limiting use of drugs that increase CV risk. Rheumatologists should take responsibility for the education of health care providers and RA patients regarding CVP in RA. It is immensely important to incorporate CV outcomes in testing of anti-rheumatic drugs. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Lie E.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.,Leiden University | Uhlig T.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | And 5 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2011

Objective To assess the effectiveness of switching to a second tumour necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Methods: Data were extracted from an ongoing longitudinal observational multicentre study in Norway. This study included anti-TNF naïve patients with AS starting treatment with a TNFi as well as treatment with a second TNFi in these same patients. Effectiveness data and 2-year drug survival were compared between switchers and non-switchers and within switchers (first and second TNFi). Results: 514 anti-TNF naïve patients with AS were included; 77 patients switched to a second TNFi while 437 patients did not switch. The percentages of nonswitchers using etanercept, infliximab or adalimumab were 53%, 32% and 15%, and the percentages of first and second TNFi in the switchers were 42%, 53% and 5% and 40%, 23% and 36%, respectively. The reason for switching was insufficient response (IR) in 30, adverse events (AEs) in 44 and not reported in 3 patients. Baseline disease activity was similar between the groups. Three-month BASDAI 50 and ASAS 40 responses were achieved by 49% and 38% of non-switchers, by 25% and 30% of switchers after the first TNFi and by 28% and 31% after the second TNFi. The 3-month disease activity level was higher for switchers on the second TNFi than for non-switchers. Drug withdrawal rate was higher during the second TNFi among switchers than for non-switchers (p=0.001). No difference was found in the effectiveness of the second TNFi between switchers due to IR and AE. Conclusion This study confirms that switching to a second TNFi can be effective in AS and can be as useful as in rheumatoid arthritis, although overall effectiveness seems to be somewhat lower than in non-switchers.


Lie E.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.,Leiden University | Uhlig T.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | And 5 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2011

Objectives: To compare the effectiveness of adding synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (sDMARDs) versus tumour necrosis factor α inhibitors (TNFi) to methotrexate (MTX) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were MTX inadequate responders (IR). Second, to examine outcomes in patients receiving MTX+TNFi for whom the MTX+sDMARD combination had also failed. Methods: Patients with RA (disease duration ≤ 5 years, MTX IR and naïve to other DMARDs) starting treatment with MTX+TNFi or MTX+sDMARDs were included. From the latter group a subgroup of patients who went on to receive MTX+TNFi was identified. Results: Patients receiving MTX+TNFi (n=98) and MTX+sDMARDs (n=129) had similar baseline disease activity when starting combination therapy (mean Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28) = 4.90 and 4.96, respectively). Three- and 6-month effectiveness and 2-year drug survival were better for MTX+TNFi than for MTX+sDMARDs: mean ΔDAS28 was -1.61 versus -0.85 after 3 months (p<0.001) and -1.91 versus -1.03 after 6 months (p=0.01); DAS28<2.6 was reached by 29.0% versus 11.6% after 3 and 34.5% versus 12.9% after 6 months. Effectiveness was somewhat better with triple therapy than other MTX+sDMARD combinations but was generally inferior compared with MTX+TNFi. For the patients who received MTX+TNFi as a third step after MTX+sDMARDs had failed (n=38) there was a tendency towards lower remission rates, worse disease activity states and inferior drug survival compared with patients who received MTX+TNFi directly after the failure of MTX. Conclusions: Effectiveness was better for MTX+TNFi than for MTX+sDMARDs. Patients who started MTX+TNFi after two synthetic DMARD regimens had failed had a tendency to less favourable disease states after 3 months than patients who switched directly from MTX to MTX+TNFi.


Fagerli K.M.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Lie E.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.,Leiden University | And 6 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2014

Background The role of co-medication with tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) is well established in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. In psoriatic arthritis (PsA) there is little evidence available on this issue. Material and methods The analyses were based on data from the Norwegian longitudinal observational study on disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (NORDMARD). Patients with PsA starting their first TNFi, either as monotherapy or with concomitant methotrexate (MTX), were selected. Baseline characteristics, responses after 3, 6 and 12 months, and drug survival were compared between those with and without MTX co-medication. A secondary analysis was performed on patients who had confirmed swollen joints at baseline. Cox regression was used to identify predictors of discontinuation. Results We included 440 patients, 170 receiving TNFi as monotherapy and 270 receiving concomitant MTX. The groups had similar baseline characteristics, except for number of swollen joints, which was higher in the concomitant MTX group. Responses were similar in the two groups in both analyses. Drug survival analyses revealed a borderline significant difference in favour of patients receiving co-medication ( p=0.07), and this was most prominent for patients receiving infliximab (IFX) ( p=0.01). In the Cox regression analysis lack of concomitant MTX and current smoking were independent predictors of discontinuation of TNFi. Conclusions We found similar responses to TNFi in patients with and without concomitant MTX, but drug survival was superior in patients receiving co-medication. The effect of MTX on drug survival was most prominent in patients receiving IFX. Smoking at baseline and use of TNFi as monotherapy were identified as independent predictors of drug discontinuation.


Mjaavatten M.D.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.M.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.M.,Leiden University | Uhlig T.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2011

Objective. Presence and levels of antibodies contribute to the classification of rheumatoid arthritis. We investigated the longitudinal course of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) and immunoglobin M (IgM) rheumatoid factor (RF) during the first year after arthritis onset in patients with very short disease duration. Methods. Patients (aged 18-75 years) with ≥ 1 swollen joint of ≤ 16 weeks' duration had assessments of ACPA (2nd generation anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies, anti-CCP2) and IgM RF at inclusion and after 3, 6, and 12 months. Frequencies of seroconversions (negative to positive and vice versa) and changes in antibody levels during followup were determined. Results. A total of 281 early arthritis patients (median duration of joint swelling 32 days, 14.2% ACPA positives, 12.8% IgM RF positives) with 978 longitudinally collected serum samples were included. Only 5 patients (1.8%) negative for both antibodies at baseline turned antibody-positive during followup, while 9 antibody-positive patients (3.2%) turned antibody-negative. ACPA was more stable than RF regarding both status and levels. Conclusion. Antibody status (ACPA/RF) is a stable phenotype in very early arthritis, as seroconversion was only found in 5% of patients. Repeated measurement of ACPA or RF during the first year after onset of arthritis does not offer major additional information. The Journal of Rheumatology Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved.


Lie E.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Heijde D.D.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Heijde D.D.,Leiden University | Uhlig T.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2010

Objective: To examine the effectiveness and 2-year retention rates of methotrexate (MTX) in MTX naïve patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Methods: Data on 430 patients with PsA participating in an ongoing longitudinal observational multicentre study in Norway were analysed. 1218 MTX naïve patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from the same study served as a reference population. Assessments included measures of disease activity (28 joint counts, acute phase reactants), health status and utility scores. Six-month effectiveness data were compared both by crude analyses and with adjustments for age, sex and the respective baseline values. Two-year drug survival was compared by Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. Results: After 6 months of MTX treatment, both patients with PsA and those with RA improved in most disease activity measures and patient reported outcomes. In the adjusted analysis, patients with PsA tended to have less improvement, but changes were in the same range as in patients with RA. Two-year retention rates of MTX therapy in patients with PsA and RA were 65% and 66%, respectively, with only minor differences in reported reasons for discontinuation. Lower age, longer disease duration and higher Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (MHAQ) score and patient global assessment were independent predictors of MTX termination within the first 2 years of treatment. Conclusion: In this real-life study, MTX treatment was associated with improvement in disease activity and health-related quality of life in patients with PsA after 6 months of treatment. Retention rates of MTX were similar in PsA and RA.


Fagerli K.M.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Lie E.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.,Diakonhjemmet Hospital | Van Der Heijde D.,Leiden University | And 6 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: Tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) are efficacious in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), but some patients do not respond or do not tolerate their first TNFi, and are switched to a different TNFi. Evidence supporting this practice is limited, and we wanted to investigate the effectiveness of switching to a second TNFi. Material and methods: From a longitudinal observational study (LOS) we selected patients with PsA who were starting their first TNFi, and identified patients who had switched to a second TNFi ('switchers'). Three-month responses and 3-year drug-survival were compared between switchers and non-switchers, and within switchers. Results: Switchers (n=95) receiving their second TNFi had significantly poorer responses compared with non-switchers (n=344) (ACR50 response: 22.5% vs 40.0%, DAS28 remission: 28.2% vs 54.1%). There was a trend towards poorer responses to the second TNFi compared with the first TNFi within switchers. Estimated 3-year drug-survival was 36% for the second TNFi compared with 57% for the first TNFi overall. Conclusions: 20-40% of patients had a response on a second TNFi after having failed one TNFi in this LOS. This observation highlights the need for treatments with other mechanisms of action than TNF inhibition in patients with PsA.


Wallenius M.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Skomsvoll J.F.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Irgens L.M.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Salvesen K.A.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | And 5 more authors.
Arthritis and Rheumatism | Year: 2011

Objective To examine possible associations between chronic inflammatory arthritides and pregnancy outcomes with separate analyses of first and subsequent births before and after diagnosis. Methods Linkage of data from a registry of patients with chronic inflammatory arthritides and the Medical Birth Registry of Norway enabled a comparison of pregnancy outcomes in women with chronic inflammatory arthritides and pregnancy outcomes in reference subjects. Outcomes of first birth and subsequent births before and after diagnosis were analyzed separately. Associations between chronic inflammatory arthritides and the women's health during pregnancy and delivery as well as perinatal outcomes were assessed in logistic regression analyses with adjustments for maternal age at delivery and gestational age. Results We analyzed 128 first births and 151 subsequent births after diagnosis and 286 first births and 262 subsequent births before diagnosis in patients and compared them with first and subsequent births in reference subjects. Firstborn children of women diagnosed as having chronic inflammatory arthritides were more often preterm (odds ratio [OR] 1.85 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.09-3.13]) and small for gestational age (OR 1.60 [95% CI 1.00-2.56]). They also had lower mean birth weight (P = 0.01) and higher perinatal mortality (OR 3.26 [95% CI 1.04-10.24]). Birth by caesarean section (all classifications) was more frequent in patients than in reference subjects, and elective caesarean section was 2-fold more frequent in patients, both in first birth (OR 2.60 [95% CI 1.43-4.75]) and in subsequent births (OR 2.18 [95% CI 1.33-3.58]). No excess risks of clinical importance were observed prior to diagnosis of chronic inflammatory arthritides. Conclusion Excess risks were related to first birth in women diagnosed as having chronic inflammatory arthritides, including a higher rate of perinatal mortality. A higher caesarean section rate was related to all patient deliveries. Mainly, pregnancy outcomes before diagnosis did not differ from those in reference subjects. Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Rheumatology.


Wallenius M.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Skomsvoll J.F.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Irgens L.M.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Salvesen K.A.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | And 4 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2010

Background: It is known that onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is increased post partum. Objective: To compare incidence rates between RA and other chronic arthritides (OCA) 0-24 months after delivery, and to compare the incidence rates within each group 0-24 versus 25-48 months post partum. Methods: Premenopausal women from a Norwegian patient register were linked with the Medical Birth Registry of Norway to study the interval between delivery and time of diagnosis. Cox regression analysis with adjustments for age at delivery and birth order was applied to compare proportions of incident cases of RA and OCA with onset 0-24 months post partum. Poisson regression analysis with adjustment for the population at risk was applied to estimate the incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0-24 versus 25-48 months post partum. Results: Of 183 RA and 110 patients with OCA diagnosed after delivery, 69 (37.7%) had RA and 31 (28.2%) OCA during the first 24 months post partum (p=0.09). The IRR (95% CI) for diagnosis during 0-24 months versus 25-48 months was 1.73 (1.11 to 2.70) (p=0.01) for RA, 1.05 (0.59 to 1.84) (p=0.86) for OCA. The IRR was 2.23 (1.06 to 4.70) and 1.87 (0.67 to 5.21), respectively, when only considering diagnoses after the first pregnancy. Clinical characteristics were similar within each diagnostic group. Conclusion: The proportions of incident cases with onset 0-24 months after delivery were not different between RA and OCA. A peak in incidence during 0-24 months was seen in the RA group, both when considering all pregnancies and only the first pregnancy.

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