Infection rates in patients from five rheumatoid arthritis (RA) registries: Contextualising an RA clinical trial programme

Hisashi Yamanaka, Johan Askling, Niklas Berglind, Stefan Franzen, Thomas Frisell, Christopher Garwood, Jeffrey D. Greenberg, Meilien Ho, Marie Holmqvist, Laura Novelli Horne, Eisuke Inoue, Kaleb Michaud, Dimitrios A. Pappas, George Reed, Deborah Symmons, Eiichi Tanaka, Trung N. Tran, Suzanne M.M. Verstappen, Eveline Wesby-Van Swaay, Fredrik Nyberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased risk of serious infections. Comparing infection rates across RA populations is complicated by differences in background infection risk, population composition and study methodology. We measured infection rates from five RA registries globally, with the aim to contextualise infection rates from an RA clinical trials population. Methods We used data from Consortium of Rheumatology Research of North America (CORRONA) (USA), Swedish Rheumatology Quality of Care Register (Sweden), Norfolk Arthritis Register (UK), CORRONA International (multiple countries) and Institute of Rheumatology Rheumatoid Arthritis (Japan) and an RA clinical trial programme (fostamatinib). Within each registry, we analysed a main cohort of all patients with RA from January 2000 to last available data. Infection definitions were harmonised across registries. Sensitivity analyses to address potential confounding explored subcohorts defined by disease activity, treatment change and/or prior comorbidities and restriction by calendar time or follow-up. Rates of infections were estimated and standardised to the trial population for age/sex and, in one sensitivity analysis also, for Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score. Results Overall, age/sex-standardised rates of hospitalised infection were quite consistent across registries (range 1.14-1.62 per 100 patient-years). Higher and more consistent rates across registries and with the trial programme overall were seen when adding standardisation for HAQ score (registry range 1.86-2.18, trials rate 2.92) or restricting to a treatment initiation subcohort followed for 18 months (registry range 0.99-2.84, trials rate 2.74). Conclusion This prospective, coordinated analysis of RA registries provided incidence rate estimates for infection events to contextualise infection rates from an RA clinical trial programme and demonstrated relative comparability of hospitalised infection rates across registries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000498
JournalRMD Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • epidemiology
  • infections
  • outcomes research
  • rheumatoid arthritis

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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