Anti-TNF-α also helps with anaemia in IBD patients
Using anti-tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) agents to treat inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) also improves haemoglobin levels and may help resolve anaemia, a recent study has shown.
Researchers analysed the data of 362 IBD patients (mean age at recruitment, 35.1 years; 61 percent male) who were treated with anti-TNF-α drugs. Study outcomes were the treatment effects on disease activity, anaemia prevalence and blood markers after 6 and 12 months of medication.
Prior to initiating anti-TNF-α treatment, the mean haemoglobin concentration in the overall cohort was 13.2±1.9 g/dL; this was slightly higher in those with Crohn’s disease (CD) than in their ulcerative colitis (UC) counterparts. After 6 months of treatment, haemoglobin levels jumped to 14±1.7 in the overall cohort, with equivalent increases in the CD and UC subgroups. All changes were statistically significant when compared to baseline (p<0.001).
This increase continued until after 12 months of treatment, though changes relative to month 6 failed to achieve statistical significance.
Anti-TNF-α likewise had significant benefits on anaemia prevalence. At baseline, 29.3 percent (n=106) of all patients had anaemia (35.2 percent in UC patients and 27.3 percent in CD patients; p=0.154). This dropped to 14.4 percent (n=49) after 6 months of treatment (16.3 percent and 13.8 percent in the respective subgroups). By month 12, only 25 patients (7.8 percent) were anaemic.
The medication also resulted in drops in disease activity, as measured by serum levels of C-reactive protein (2.01±3.9 mg/dL at baseline to 0.81±2.2 mg/dL after 6 months, and to 0.44±0.7 mg/dL after 12 months; p<0.001 for both comparisons).