eISSN: 2084-9834
ISSN: 0034-6233
Reumatologia/Rheumatology
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3/2008
vol. 46
 
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abstract:

ORIGINAL PAPER
A cross-sectional survey of treatment patterns, disease activity, and quality of life of patients with ankylosing spondylitis in Central and Eastern Europe

Jacek Szechiński
,
Wolfgang Ebner
,
Tamás Palotai
,
Catalin Codrenu
,
Pál Géher
,
Artur Pahor
,
Karel Pavelka
,
Josef Smolen
,
Martin Žlany

Reumatologia 2008; 46, 3: 130–139
Online publish date: 2008/07/09
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Objectives: To obtain information on the profile of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), disease activity, previous and current treatments, and the proportion and profile of patients treated with conventional medications but considered eligible for antitumour necrosis factor (THF) therapy.
Material and methods: Participants were rheumatologists from 7 Central-Eastern European countries who were considered experts in treating patients with AS and were to include 3-5 patients who had never received anti-TNF therapy.
Results: Overall, 1506 AS patients who had never received anti-TNF therapy until the time of the survey were analysed. Of these, 61% qualified for anti-TNF therapy based on the clinical judgement of their rheumatologists. In Poland 368 patients were analyzed, 55% of whom were considered candidates. In general, candidates had higher levels of disease activity and functional impairment, and they were more likely to report a lower quality of life. Only 38% of all candidates fulfilled the Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS) recommendations with respect to the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASADAI) of at least 4 and previous use of at least 2 non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). With 18%, the corresponding proportion in Poland was the lowest across all countries investigated.
Conclusions: More than half of AS patients currently treated with other medications may be eligible for anti-TNF therapy. Also, rheumatologists regarded disease activity as the determining factor for starting anti-TNF drugs, but their decision did not always fully comply with the ASAS recommendations.
keywords:

ankylosing spondylitis, anti-TNF therapy, cross-sectional study, ASAS recommendations



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