Serious Infections in Rheumatoid Arthritis Offspring Exposed to Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors: A Cohort Study

Academic Article


  • Objective: To evaluate the risk of serious infections in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) offspring exposed to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) in the gestational period compared to unexposed RA offspring, as well as to children from the general population. Methods: We used US claim data (2011–2015) to identify 2,989 offspring born to women who have RA and a randomly selected group of 14,596 control children, matched ≥4:1 for maternal age, year of delivery, and state of residence. We defined TNFi exposure based on ≥1 filled prescription during pregnancy. We ascertained serious infections based on ≥1 hospitalization, with infection as a primary diagnosis, at ≤12 months of life. We performed multivariable analyses, adjusting for maternal demographics, comorbidities, pregnancy complications, and drugs. Results: Among RA offspring, 380 (12.7%) were exposed to TNFi during pregnancy. The percentage of serious infections in RA offspring with no TNFi exposure (2.0%; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.5, 2.6) was similar to that in non-RA offspring (1.9%; 95% CI 1.9, 2.2), while the percentage of serious infections in RA offspring with TNFi exposure was 3.2% (95% CI 1.5, 5.6). In multivariable analyses, we were unable to establish an increased risk of serious infections in RA offspring exposed to TNFi versus both non-RA offspring (odds ratio [OR] 1.7, 95% CI 0.8, 3.7) and RA offspring unexposed to TNFi (OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.7, 2.8). Conclusion: We did not demonstrate a marked excess risk for serious infections in RA offspring exposed to TNFi during pregnancy versus unexposed RA offspring or general population controls.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vinet É; De Moura C; Pineau CA; Abrahamowicz M; Curtis JR; Bernatsky S
  • Start Page

  • 1565
  • End Page

  • 1571
  • Volume

  • 70
  • Issue

  • 10