Ankylosing spondylitis disease activity score is related to NSAID use, especially in patients treated with TNF-alpha inhibitors

Carbo, M. J. G., Spoorenberg, A., Maas, F., Brouwer, E., Bos, R., Bootsma, H., van der Veer, E., Wink, F. & Arends, S., 24-Apr-2018, In : PLoS ONE. 13, 4, 12 p., e0196281.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

BACKGROUND: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are regarded as the cornerstone of conventional treatment for AS. However little is known about concomitant NSAID use during treatment (with TNF-α inhibitors) in daily clinical practice.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: Consecutive patients from the GLAS cohort were included. NSAID use and ASAS-NSAID index were evaluated at group level and at individual patient level during 52 weeks of follow-up. Analyses were stratified for treatment regimen. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) was used to evaluate NSAID use in relation to assessments of disease activity over time. In patients starting TNF-α inhibitors (n = 254), 79% used NSAIDs at baseline and this proportion decreased significantly to 38% at 52 weeks. ASAS-NSAID index also decreased significantly from median 65 to 0. In patients on conventional treatment (n = 139), 74% used NSAIDs at baseline with median ASAS-NSAID index of 50 and this remained stable during follow-up. At each follow-up visit, approximately half of the patients changed their type or dose of NSAIDs. GEE analysis over time showed that NSAID use was associated with AS disease activity score (p<0.05). This relation was more pronounced in patients treated with TNF-α inhibitors compared to conventional treatment (B = 0.825 vs. B = 0.250).

CONCLUSIONS: In this observational cohort of established AS patients, there was no difference in baseline NSAID use between patients with and without indication for TNF-α inhibitors. NSAID use decreased significantly after starting TNF-α inhibitors. During conventional treatment, NSAID use remained stable at group level. However, NSAID use changed frequently at individual patient level and was significantly associated with disease activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0196281
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24-Apr-2018



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