How fast up the ladder? Factors associated with immunosuppressive or anti-TNF therapies in IBD patients at early stages: results from a population-based cohort
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With the introduction of anti-TNF therapies in the treatment of IBD, the therapeutic strategies have changed to an accelerated step-up care to avoid long-term complications. Little is known about the implementation of these strategies into daily care. We aimed to evaluate this question and to identify factors associated with the early use of immunosuppressants or anti-TNF therapies in a population-based IBD cohort.
Patients with an IBD diagnosed between January 2004 and December 2008 were included. Medical therapies were evaluated at first diagnosis and during a 5-year follow-up. Risk factors associated with the initiation of an immunosuppressive therapy were assessed.
Two hundred and forty-one patients were evaluated (145 Crohn’s disease (CD), 96 ulcerative colitis (UC)). An immunosuppressive or anti-TNF therapy was started in 83 CD (57.2 %) and 40 UC (43 %) patients (p = 0.033, relative risks (RR) 1.77; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.05–3.0). After 5 years, 38.8 % CD patients on immunosuppressive therapy were treated with anti-TNF therapies. The use of corticosteroids at first diagnosis, disease localization and surgery were independent predictors for an immunosuppressive or anti-TNF therapy in CD. In UC, the extension of disease was associated with immunosuppressive therapies. The use of steroids and localization in CD patients and an extended disease in UC patients affected the time until an immunosuppressive therapy was started.
We found a high proportion of patients using an immunosuppressive therapy during the early course. Therefore, the accelerated step-up strategy seems to be successfully implemented in the daily care of IBD patients. We were able to identify several factors associated with an immunosuppressive or anti-TNF therapy in CD and UC.
KeywordsCrohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis Accelerated step-up Immunosuppressive therapy Azathioprine Anti-TNF therapy
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