As the United States looks to combat vaccine hesitancy, at least one group is feeling even more confident in a vaccine—but not the COVID-19 shot: Patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs) had a higher rate of flu vaccinations during the pandemic, researchers discovered.
A total of 1,015 patients were interviewed. A greater proportion of patients received the flu shot during the pandemic (2020-21 season) than before (2019-20 season). Fewer than 1% of patients who got the shot reported disease flares.
In the pre-pandemic period, patients were more likely to say their rheumatologist did not recommend the shot compared to during the pandemic. During both flu seasons, other reasons patients skipped out on the shot included they didn’t think it would have any benefit, they didn’t feel it was safe, and other.
Another study analyzed the prevalence of and risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Final analysis included 2,433 patients, and there were 26 incident VTEs. The incident rate of the first VTE was 12 events per 10,000 patient-years. By age 80, 4.6% of patients had developed their first VTE. Factors independently correlated with VTE were older age, diabetes mellitus, and corticosteroid usage.
Finally, a study compared golimumab treatment retention among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), axial spondyloarthritis (AxSpA), and PsA. Compared to patients with RA, those with AxSpA or PsA had higher rates of retention. Further, retention rates were higher when golimumab was a first-line treatment instead of third or later. Use as first-line biological therapy, having AxSpA or PsA (instead of RA), and concomitant methotrexate therapy were all correlated with increased golimumab retention, while steroid use reduced retention.
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