Background: Physicians may be reluctant to prescribe combined immunosuppression in older patients with Crohn's disease due to perceived risk of treatment-related complications. Aim: To evaluate the impact of age on risk of Crohn's disease-related complications in patients treated with early combined immunosuppression vs conventional management in a post hoc analysis of the randomised evaluation of an algorithm for Crohn's treatment (REACT), a cluster-randomised trial. Methods: We compared efficacy (time to major adverse outcome of Crohn's disease-related surgery, hospitalisation or serious complications; corticosteroid-free clinical remission) and safety outcomes at 24 months, between patients aged <60 vs ≥60 years randomised to early combined immunosuppression or conventional management, using Cox proportional hazard analysis or modified Poisson model. In the early combined immunosuppression arm, patients with failure to achieve clinical remission within 4-12 weeks of corticosteroids were treated with a combination of tumour necrosis factor-α antagonist plus anti-metabolite and sequentially escalated in a stepwise algorithm. Results: Of 1981 patients, 311 were ≥60 years (15.7%; 173 randomised to early combined immunosuppression and 138 to conventional management). Over 24 months, 10% of older patients developed Crohn's disease-related complications (early combined immunosuppression vs conventional management: 6.4% vs 14.5%) and 14 patients died (3.5% vs 5.8%). There was no difference between younger and older patients in risk of achieving corticosteroid-free clinical remission (<60 years, early combined immunosuppression (72.6%) vs conventional management (64.4%): relative risk [RR], 1.06 [95% CI, 0.98-1.15] vs ≥60 years, early combined immunosuppression (74.8%) vs conventional management (63.0%): RR, 1.09 [0.90-1.33], P-interaction = 0.78) or time to major adverse outcome (<60 years: hazard ratio [HR], 0.71 [0.53-0.96] vs ≥60 years: HR, 0.69 [0.31-1.51], P-interaction = 0.92) with early combined immunosuppression vs conventional management. Conclusions: We observed no difference in efficacy and safety of early combined immunosuppression compared to conventional management in older and younger patients. Early combined immunosuppression may be considered as a treatment option in selected older patients with Crohn's disease with suboptimal disease control. Clinical Trial Identifier: NCT01030809.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)