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OBJECTIVE: To estimate the impact of NICE approval of tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) therapies on the incidence of total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in England and Wales. METHODS: Primary care data [Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)] for the study period (1995-2014) were used to identify incident adult RA patients. The age and sex-standardised 5-year incidence of THR and TKR was calculated separately for RA patients diagnosed in each six-months between 1995-2009. We took a natural experimental approach, using segmented linear regression to estimate changes in level and trend following the publication of NICE TA 36 in March 2002, incorporating a 1-year lag. Regression coefficients were used to calculate average change in rates, adjusted for prior level and trend. RESULTS: We identified 17,505 incident RA patients of whom 465 and 650 underwent THR and TKR surgery, respectively. The modeled average incidence of THR and TKR over the biologic-era was 6.57/1000 person years (PYs) and 8.51/1000 PYs, respectively, with projected (had pre-NICE TA 36 level and trend continued uninterrupted) figures of 5.63/1000 PYs and 12.92 PYs, respectively. NICE guidance was associated with a significant average decrease in TKR incidence of -4.41/1000 PYs (95% C.I. -6.88 to -1.94), equating to a relative 34% reduction. Overall, no effect was seen on THR rates. CONCLUSIONS: Among incident RA patients in England and Wales, NICE guidance on TNFi therapies for RA management was temporally associated with reduced rates of TKR but not THR.

Original publication




Journal article


Semin arthritis rheum

Publication Date





605 - 610


Arthroplasty of hip, Arthroplasty of knee, Biologic therapy, Pharmacoepidemiology, Rheumatoid arthritis, Antirheumatic Agents, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Biological Products, England, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Wales