Background and Aim: Screening for tuberculosis before treating with biologic agents is recommended in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs). We conducted this study to identify adherence to the recommended practice in a real-world setting in Japan. Methods: We used a community-based insurance claims database in a city in the Greater Tokyo Area in Japan. Between July 2012 and January 2019, we enrolled patients with IMIDs in the age range 15 to 74 years who had initiated biologic therapy. Tuberculosis screening was defined as (a) interferon-γ release assay and/or a tuberculin skin test (IGRA/TST) and (b) IGRA/TST and X-ray and/or CT scan (X-ray/CT) within 2 months before starting biologic agents. We analyzed the proportions of patients who underwent tuberculosis screening and their association with the patient- and treatment-related factors and treatment for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Results: Of 421 patients presumed to have initiated biologic therapy, 202 (48%) underwent IGRA/TST and 169 (40%) underwent IGRA/TST and X-ray/CT. Patients aged 65 to 74 years were more likely to undergo tuberculosis screening than those aged 45 to 64 years. Compared to infliximab, IGRA/TST was less frequently performed in patients treated with etanercept, adalimumab, golimumab, abatacept, and tocilizumab. Treatment for LTBI was provided to 67 (16%) patients. Proportions of patients receiving LTBI treatment did not significantly differ according to the screening status. Conclusion: There was low adherence to the recommendations for tuberculosis screening and prophylactic treatment before biologic therapy. It is necessary to continue alerting clinical practitioners to the importance of screening for tuberculosis and treatment for LTBI.
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