Cardiovascular Safety of Febuxostat or Allopurinol in Patients with Gout

BACKGROUND

Cardiovascular risk is increased in patients with gout. We compared cardiovascular outcomes associated with febuxostat, a nonpurine xanthine oxidase inhibitor, with those associated with allopurinol, a purine base analogue xanthine oxidase inhibitor, in patients with gout and cardiovascular disease.

METHODS

We conducted a multicenter, double-blind, noninferiority trial involving patients with gout and cardiovascular disease; patients were randomly assigned to receive febuxostat or allopurinol and were stratified according to kidney function. The trial had a prespecified noninferiority margin of 1.3 for the hazard ratio for the primary end point (a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or unstable angina with urgent revascularization).

RESULTS

In total, 6190 patients underwent randomization, received febuxostat or allopurinol, and were followed for a median of 32 months (maximum, 85 months). The trial regimen was discontinued in 56.6% of patients, and 45.0% discontinued follow-up. In the modified intention-to-treat analysis, a primary end-point event occurred in 335 patients (10.8%) in the febuxostat group and in 321 patients (10.4%) in the allopurinol group (hazard ratio, 1.03; upper limit of the one-sided 98.5% confidence interval [CI], 1.23; P=0.002 for noninferiority). All-cause and cardiovascular mortality were higher in the febuxostat group than in the allopurinol group (hazard ratio for death from any cause, 1.22 [95% CI, 1.01 to 1.47]; hazard ratio for cardiovascular death, 1.34 [95% CI, 1.03 to 1.73]). The results with regard to the primary end point and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the analysis of events that occurred while patients were being treated were similar to the results in the modified intention-to-treat analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with gout and major cardiovascular coexisting conditions, febuxostat was noninferior to allopurinol with respect to rates of adverse cardiovascular events. All-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality were higher with febuxostat than with allopurinol. (Funded by Takeda Development Center Americas; CARES ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01101035.)

Reference: N Engl J Med 2018; 378:1200-1210

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Effect of Opioid vs Nonopioid Medications on Pain-Related Function in Patients With Chronic Back Pain or Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

Question  For patients with moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain despite analgesic use, does opioid medication compared with nonopioid medication result in better pain-related function?

Findings  In this randomized clinical trial that included 240 patients, the use of opioid vs nonopioid medication therapy did not result in significantly better pain-related function over 12 months (3.4 vs 3.3 points on an 11-point scale at 12 months, respectively).

Meaning  This study does not support initiation of opioid therapy for moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain.

Reference: JAMA. 2018;319(9):872-882.

Efficacy of self-monitored blood pressure, with or without telemonitoring, for titration of antihypertensive medication (TASMINH4)

Background

Studies evaluating titration of antihypertensive medication using self-monitoring give contradictory findings and the precise place of telemonitoring over self-monitoring alone is unclear. The TASMINH4 trial aimed to assess the efficacy of self-monitored blood pressure, with or without telemonitoring, for antihypertensive titration in primary care, compared with usual care.

Methods

This study was a parallel randomised controlled trial done in 142 general practices in the UK, and included hypertensive patients older than 35 years, with blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg, who were willing to self-monitor their blood pressure. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to self-monitoring blood pressure (self-montoring group), to self-monitoring blood pressure with telemonitoring (telemonitoring group), or to usual care (clinic blood pressure; usual care group). Randomisation was by a secure web-based system. Neither participants nor investigators were masked to group assignment. The primary outcome was clinic measured systolic blood pressure at 12 months from randomisation. Primary analysis was of available cases. The trial is registered with ISRCTN, number ISRCTN 83571366.

Findings

1182 participants were randomly assigned to the self-monitoring group (n=395), the telemonitoring group (n=393), or the usual care group (n=394), of whom 1003 (85%) were included in the primary analysis. After 12 months, systolic blood pressure was lower in both intervention groups compared with usual care (self-monitoring, 137·0 [SD 16·7] mm Hg and telemonitoring, 136·0 [16·1] mm Hg vsusual care, 140·4 [16·5]; adjusted mean differences vs usual care: self-monitoring alone, −3·5 mm Hg [95% CI −5·8 to −1·2]; telemonitoring, −4·7 mm Hg [–7·0 to −2·4]). No difference between the self-monitoring and telemonitoring groups was recorded (adjusted mean difference −1·2 mm Hg [95% CI −3·5 to 1·2]). Results were similar in sensitivity analyses including multiple imputation. Adverse events were similar between all three groups.

Interpretation

Self-monitoring, with or without telemonitoring, when used by general practitioners to titrate antihypertensive medication in individuals with poorly controlled blood pressure, leads to significantly lower blood pressure than titration guided by clinic readings. With most general practitioners and many patients using self-monitoring, it could become the cornerstone of hypertension management in primary care.

Funding

National Institute for Health Research via Programme Grant for Applied Health Research (RP-PG-1209-10051), Professorship to RJM (NIHR-RP-R2-12-015), Oxford Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, and Omron Healthcare UK.

Reference: The Lancet, Volume 391, No. 10124, p949–959, 10 March 2018

General practice case studies

NHS England has published the following case studies relating to general practice:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease pathway

NHS RightCare has published RightCare Pathway: COPD.  This pathway defines the core components of an optimal service for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  It includes resources to support local health economise to concentrate their improvement efforts where there is greatest opportunity to address variation and improve population health.  It contains a number of key messages for commissioners.

Additional link: NHS England press release