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Original research
Risk of acute arterial events associated with treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases: nationwide French cohort study


Objective Patients with IBD are at increased risk of acute arterial events. Antitumour necrosis factor (TNF) agents and thiopurines may, via their anti-inflammatory properties, lower the risk of acute arterial events. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of thiopurines and anti-TNFs on the risk of acute arterial events in patients with IBD.

Design Patients aged 18 years or older and affiliated to the French national health insurance with a diagnosis of IBD were followed up from 1 April 2010 until 31 December 2014. The risks of acute arterial events (including ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and peripheral artery disease) were compared between thiopurines and anti-TNFs exposed and unexposed patients with marginal structural Cox proportional hazard models adjusting for baseline and time-varying demographics, medications, traditional cardiovascular risk factors, comorbidities and IBD disease activity.

Results Among 177 827 patients with IBD (96 111 (54%) women, mean age at cohort entry 46.2 years (SD 16.3), 90 205 (50.7%) with Crohn’s disease (CD)), 4145 incident acute arterial events occurred (incidence rates: 5.4 per 1000 person-years). Compared with unexposed patients, exposure to anti-TNFs (HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.95), but not to thiopurines (HR 0.93, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.05), was associated with a decreased risk of acute arterial events. The magnitude in risk reduction was highest in men with CD exposed to anti-TNFs (HR 0.54, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.72).

Conclusion Exposure to anti-TNFs is associated with a decreased risk of acute arterial events in patients with IBD, particularly in men with CD.

  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • cardiovascular disease
  • ischeamic heart disease
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • thiopurines
  • anti-TNFs

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