Study shows significant decreases in infections among people with psoriatic arthritis

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New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, shows a significant decrease in infections among people with psoriatic arthritis over the years 2012-2017. (Abstract No. 1783).

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs in some patients with psoriasis. This arthritis can affect any joint in the body, and symptoms vary from person to person. The persistent inflammation from psoriatic arthritis can damage the joints.

Biological therapies now available to treat psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can help control disease activity and prevent damage, but these drugs increase the risk. Since the increased use of biopharmaceuticals to treat psoriatic rheumatic disease in recent years, researchers conducted this study to see if infections had increased among these patients. Researchers looked at national trends in serious infections in people with rheumatoid arthritis from 2012 to 2017 across the United States using a national inpatient sample.

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The study was conducted to collect data to help providers have informed discussions with their patients. Some patients are initially reluctant to start using immunosuppressive drugs for treatment, and understanding this information can provide a clearer idea of ​​how this infection risk translates in real life and help differentiate risks of minor infection from serious infections in this subgroup of patients.”

Vagishwari Murugesan, MD, a clinical and research fellow in rheumatology at Boston University Medical Center and co-author of the study

The researchers used data from the national inpatient sample, which includes a sample of discharge information from community hospitals, excluding rehabilitation and long-term acute care facilities, and contains about seven million discharge records. They identified PSA-diagnosed discharges with a major or secondary diagnosis of serious infection: pneumonia, sepsis, urinary tract infection (UTI), and/or skin and soft tissue infection using the ICD-9 and ICD-10 diagnostic codes. They standardized the results for 2012-2017 to match the age distributions of the US population in 2012. They then tested trends over the years 2012-2017 to measure any increases in these serious infections.

In 2012, they detected a total of 50,700 PSA discharges, including 125 patients diagnosed with pneumonia, 230 patients with sepsis, 312 with skin or soft tissue infections, and 174 with UTIs. In 2017, there were 179,400 PsA excretions, with 344 patients presenting with pneumonia, 374 with sepsis, 681 with skin and soft tissue infections, and 348 with UTIs. From 2012-2017, there were significant decreases in hospital discharges for sepsis, skin and soft tissue infections, and urinary tract infections when standardized for age, but no significant differences in trends for pneumonia.

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“While the national inpatient sample does not contain information on the individual treatment of patients in the study, the data show a decrease in hospital discharges due to sepsis, skin and soft tissue infections, and urinary tract infection over the past several years. This information may help guide patients should Make decisions about managing their arthritis while understanding their infection risk,” says Dr. Murugesan.


American College of Rheumatology


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