Psoriasis Patients Less Likely to Receive Flu Shot than RA Patients

Psoriasis patients have higher rates of hospitalization due to serious infection than those without the disease, but a recent study found that adults with psoriasis are less likely to get the influenza vaccine than rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. 

The cohort study assessed adults aged ≥ 18 years diagnosed with psoriasis (n = 17,078), RA (n = 21,832), or chronic hypertension that required oral medication (n = 496,972) during the 2010-2011 influenza season and 24 months prior (September 2008–March 2011). Researchers collected data from the OptumInsight Clinformatics DataMart. Psoriasis patients were younger than other patients. RA patients were more likely to be female (73%) than those with psoriasis (49.8%) and hypertension (50.6%). 

When controlling for confounding factors, researchers found that hypertension patients had similar rates of flu vaccination when compared with psoriasis patients (odds ratio [OR]: 0.98, 95%; CI: 0.94–1.02). When adjusting for age, sex, and treatment with systemic therapy, RA patients were more likely than psoriasis patients to be vaccinated (OR: 1.08, 95%; CI: 1.03–1.13). 

Results varied by age. “For example, a 30- year-old patient with RA was 30% more likely to receive an influenza vaccine than a 30-year-old with psoriasis (OR: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.18 – 1.45), but a 70-year-old patient with rheumatoid arthritis had a similar likelihood of receiving a flu vaccination as a 70-year-old with psoriasis,” the authors wrote. 

The study cited previous research indicating that healthcare providers are patients’ greatest influence of information regarding the flu shot. 

“For younger psoriasis patients, a dermatologist may be the only healthcare provider they see regularly, making it important for dermatologist to provide counseling about recommended vaccinations,” the authors wrote. 

The authors concluded by calling for continued research into why adults with psoriasis do not receive the vaccine to create targeted interventions to ultimately decrease hospitalization rates. 

AAP, CDC Recommend Flu Shot for Everyone Aged Six Months and Older 

Single-dose Flu Drug May Shorten Symptoms 

Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis: What Are the Dietary Recommendations for Patients? 

Psoriasis is associated with a greater risk for cardiovascular procedure and surgery in patients with hypertension: A nationwide cohort study 

Source: Journal of Investigative Dermatology