Study: Infection Rates in PsA Patients on Biologics Are Decreasing


The new data show a decrease in hospital discharges for sepsis, skin and soft tissue infections, and UTI over the past several years.

Infection rates among people with  psoriatic  arthritis (PsA) taking biologics decreased from 2012 to 2017, according to new research presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of  Rheumatology’s annual meeting.

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  discharges with a PsA diagnosis with a principal  or  secondary diagnosis of serious infections:  pneumonia, sepsis, urinary  tract  infection (UTI), and/or skin and soft-tissue infections using ICD-9 and ICD10 diagnostic  codes. They standardized results for 2012-2017 to match age distributions in the U.S. population in 2012. Then, they tested for trends over the years 2012-2017 to measure any increases in these serious infections.

In 2012, they found a  total of 50,700 hospital discharge diagnoses of PsA, including 125 patients diagnosed with pneumonia,  230  patients with  sepsis,  312 with  a  skin  or  soft-tissue infection,  and  174 with  a  UTI.  In  2017,  there  were  179,400  discharge  diagnoses  of  PsA,  with 344  patients  diagnosed with  pneumonia,  374  with sepsis,  681  with  skin  and  soft-tissue  infection, and  348 with  a  UTI. From 2012-2017,  there  were statistically  significant  drops  in  hospital discharges  for  sepsis, skin and soft-tissue infections and UTI when standardized for age, but no statistical differences in pneumonia  trends.

“While the National Inpatient Sample does not have information on individual treatment for patients in the study, the data show a decrease in hospital discharges for  sepsis, skin and soft tissue infections, and UTI over the past several years. This  information may help guide patients to make decisions regarding the management  of  their arthritis while understanding their infection risk,”  says Vagishwari Murugesan, MD, Senior Rheumatology Clinical and Research Fellow at Boston University  Medical Center and the study’s co-author, in a news release.

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