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12-05-2022 | COVID-19 | News

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Study identifies risk factors for RMD flares following COVID-19 vaccination

Author: Claire Barnard


medwireNews: Research from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance has identified a number of factors, including diagnosis and vaccine type, that are associated with flare risk following vaccination among people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).

In their survey study, Lisa Rider (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) and co-investigators found that 4.9% of 5619 RMD patients reported a disease flare requiring a change in treatment following receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine.

People with systemic lupus erythematosus (n=791) had a significant 51% higher risk for flare than those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA; n=1701) after adjustment for confounding factors, while patients with psoriatic arthritis (n=304) had a 95% increased risk and those with polymyalgia rheumatica (n=197) had a 94% increased risk. On the other hand, a diagnosis of idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (n=824) was associated with a significant 46% lower flare risk relative to RA.

Vaccine type was also associated with flare risk, with a significant 44% elevated risk seen in patients given the Oxford–AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019) vaccine compared with the Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccine, as was having a previous reaction to a non-COVID-19 vaccine and female sex (hazard ratios=2.50 and 2.71, respectively).

“Population-based and prospective clinical studies are needed to confirm and extend these findings,” conclude Rider and team in Rheumatology.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2022 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

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Rheumatology 2022; doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keac249