Secukinumab Improves Disease Activity, Depressive Mood in Men and Women With Psoriatic Arthritis

Researchers evaluated secukinumab treatment outcomes in terms of disease activity, depressive mood, and retention rates in psoriatic arthritis, based on sex of patients.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2021, being held virtually from November 3 to 10, 2021. The team at Rheumatology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in rheumatology. Check back for more from the ACR Convergence 2021.


Secukinumab improves disease activity and depressive mood in psoriatic arthritis (PsA), regardless of the sex of the patient, according to study results presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2021, held virtually from November 3 to 10, 2021.

The current study included data from AQUILA, an ongoing multicenter trial with more than 3000 patients with PsA or ankylosing spondylitis. In the AQUILA study, patients received secukinumab and were followed-up with for 52 weeks to assess disease impact, skin disease activity, mood, and drug retention. Data on impact of disease were collected using Psoriatic Arthritis Impact of Disease – 12 item score (PsAID-12). Skin disease activity was assessed using the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI). Patient’s Global Assessment (PGA) and Beck’s Depression Inventory were used to collect data on joint counts and severity of depressive mood, respectively. To determine drug retention rates, the researchers calculated time to drug discontinuation using Kaplan-Meier plots.

A total of 1278 patients with PsA were enrolled in the current analysis, 531 (41.5%) of whom were men and 747 (58.5%) were women. Mean age of men and women was 51.9±11.6 years and 53.1±11.2 years, respectively. At baseline, women vs men reported smoking more often (26.2% vs 19.4%, respectively) and were more likely to have received pretreatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (62.5% vs 54.6%, respectively).

At baseline and follow-up, women vs men had higher mean PsAID-12 values; however, both the sexes had similar mean PsAID-12 declines from baseline to week 52 (women, 5.3 to 3.5; men, 4.8 to 2.9).

Mean baseline PASI values and improvements during follow-up were also similar between the sexes (women, 7.0 to 1.0; men, 6.8 to 1.9).

Mean tender/swollen joint counts improved between baseline and week 52 (women, 7.3/3.7 to 2.8/0.9; men, 6.8/3.7 to 3.1/0.9).

The PGA declined substantially through week 52 (women, 5.6 to 3.5; men, 4.9 to 3.0), indicating that disease improvements were significant using patient assessment.

Men experienced lower overall Beck Depression Inventory scores, though all patients experienced declines (women, 13.0 to 10.6; men, 10.2 to 8.1).

Secukinumab retention rates were numerically higher among men compared with women, though the difference was not statistically significant (P =.0604). Retention rates remained above 65% for men and women at week 52.

According to these findings, secukinumab confers improvements in disease activity, disease impact, and patient mood. Women vs men had a greater overall disease burden, but patients of both sexes had comparable improvements with secukinumab treatment.

“Altogether, this interim analysis shows that secukinumab is an effective treatment up to 52 weeks with high treatment retention rates in real-world setting, irrespective of [sex],” the researchers wrote.  

Disclosure: All study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures. 


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Kiltz U, Brandt-Jrgens J, Kästner P, Riechers E, Peterlik D, Tony HP. How does gender affect secukinumab treatment outcomes and retention rates in patients with psoriatic arthritis? – Real world data from a German observational study. Presented at: ACR Convergence 2021; November 3-10, 2021. Abstract 1334.