Rheum Round-up: Healthcare Cost Analysis, Bereavement and Frailty, and more

Here are the top stories recently covered by DocWire News in the Rheumatology section. In this edition, read a healthcare cost analysis for patients taking ixekizumab compared to either secukinumab or adalimumab, as well as about the effect of bereavement on frailty, whether a rheumatic disease therapy affects cancer mortality, and the best foot strike pattern for runners to avoid injury.

A study compared healthcare costs among psoriasis (PsO) patients initiating ixekizumab compared to either secukinumab or adalimumab. The two datasets included 357 ixekizumab patients compared to 763 secukinumab patients, and 388 ixekizumab patients compared to 2,578 adalimumab patients. Ixekizumab patients had similar demographic and clinical characteristics to the secukinumab patients, but compared to adalimumab patients, they were in worse health and had older age; postweighting was used to balance out any differences. Mean monthly all-cause healthcare costs were $7,313 for ixekizumab patients and $6,477 for secukinumab patients; mean PsO-related costs were $6,303 and $5,437, respectively. In the ixekizumab and adalimumab comparisons, mean monthly all-cause healthcare costs were $6,535 and $5,557, respectively, and mean PsO-related sots were $5,792 and $4,754, respectively.

A new study found that bereavement may have an impact on the risk of hip fracture among patients whose spouse passes away. The risk increased in both married men and women. A total of 86,168 patients involved in the study sustained a hip fracture between 1987 and 2002: 53,647 women and 32,521 men. Among females whose spouse passed away, 13.1% sustained a hip fracture during the first year after bereavement; among widowers, 16.0% did. Widows and widowers both had a hip fracture incidence in the first year after their spouse’s death of 10.45 per 1,000 years. The mean age at which women lose their spouse is lower compared to that of men, the researchers noted, “which explains the same incidence for hip fracture.”

A new study observed no correlation between anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (Anti-TNFα) therapy and recurrent or new cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or PsO and previous cancer. The study authors identified 25,738 patients with one of the rheumatic diseases and a history of cancer, of whom 434 patients received anti-TNFα therapy after their initial cancer and were matched to 4,328 controls. During 18,752 person-years of follow-up, 635 patients sustained new or recurrent primary cancer: 72 treatment patients and 563 controls. The median time from anti-TNFα therapy to cancer diagnosis was 2.8 years. Cancer incidence was 30.3 cases per 1,000 person-years in the treatment group and 34.4 cases per 1,000 person-years in the control group.

A study compared non-rearfoot strike (NRFS) running with rearfoot strike (RFS) running in terms of injury, running economy, and biomechanics. The NRFS running pattern was retrospectively correlated with lower reported rates of mild, moderate, and severe repetitive stress injury. Prospective data that compared injury risk between different running patterns were limited. With limited evidence, the researchers reported that running economy was not significantly different between habitual RFS and habitual NRFS runners at slow (10.8 km/h-11.0 km/h), moderate (12.6 km/h-13.5 km/h), and fast speeds (14.0 km/h-15.0 km/h); running economy decreased in the immediate term when habitual RFS runners implemented an NRFS running pattern at slow (10.8 km/h) and moderate speeds (12.6 km/h). In biomechanical outcomes, NRFS running was correlated with lower average and peak vertical loading rate (limited-moderate evidence), lower knee flexion range of motion (moderate-strong evidence), reduced patellofemoral joint stress (limited evidence), and greater peak internal ankle plantar flexor moment (limited evidence).