Predicting biologic therapy outcome of patients with spondyloarthritis: Joint models for longitudinal and survival analysis

Carolina Barata, Ana Maria Rodrigues, Helena Canhão, Susana Vinga, Alexandra M. Carvalho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Rheumatic diseases are one of the most common chronic diseases worldwide. Among them, spondyloarthritis (SpA) is a group of highly debilitating diseases, with an early onset age, which significantly impacts patients' quality of life, health care systems, and society in general. Recent treatment options consist of using biologic therapies, and establishing the most beneficial option according to the patients' characteristics is a challenge that needs to be overcome. Meanwhile, the emerging availability of electronic medical records has made necessary the development of methods that can extract insightful information while handling all the challenges of dealing with complex, real-world data. Objective: The aim of this study was to achieve a better understanding of SpA patients' therapy responses and identify the predictors that affect them, thereby enabling the prognosis of therapy success or failure. Methods: A data mining approach based on joint models for the survival analysis of the biologic therapy failure is proposed, which considers the information of both baseline and time-varying variables extracted from the electronic medical records of SpA patients from the database, Reuma.pt. Results: Our results show that being a male, starting biologic therapy at an older age, having a larger time interval between disease start and initiation of the first biologic drug, and being human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B27 positive are indicators of a good prognosis for the biological drug survival; meanwhile, having disease onset or biologic therapy initiation occur in more recent years, a larger number of education years, and higher values of C-reactive protein or Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) at baseline are all predictors of a greater risk of failure of the first biologic therapy. Conclusions: Among this Portuguese subpopulation of SpA patients, those who were male, HLA-B27 positive, and with a later biologic therapy starting date or a larger time interval between disease start and initiation of the first biologic therapy showed longer therapy adherence. Joint models proved to be a valuable tool for the analysis of electronic medical records in the field of rheumatic diseases and may allow for the identification of potential predictors of biologic therapy failure.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26823
JournalJMIR Medical Informatics
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Data mining
  • Drug survival
  • Electronic medical records
  • Joint models
  • Medical records
  • Rheumatic disease
  • Spondyloarthritis
  • Survival analysis

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