Infection Risk Up for Seniors With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Comorbidity, rural residence, disease severity, prior infection, DMARDs linked to infection

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly adults with rheumatoid arthritis have a considerable risk of serious infection, with antirheumatic drug use increasing the risk, according to a study published online July 25 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Jessica Widdifield, Ph.D., of University of Toronto, and associates examined the risk and risk factors for serious infection in a cohort of 86,039 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, aged 66 years or older, from Ontario health administrative data across 1992 to 2010.

The researchers identified 20,575 infections, for a rate of 46.4 per 1,000 person-years, with respiratory infection, herpes zoster, and skin/soft tissue infection being the most common. Factors that correlated with infection included higher comorbidity, rural residence, markers of disease severity, and history of prior infection. There was a several-fold increase in infection noted with the use of anti-tumor necrosis factor agents and disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (adjusted odds ratio ranging from 1.2 to 3.5), with the greatest effect seen for glucocorticosteroids (odds ratio ranging from 4.0 at low doses to 7.6 at high doses).

"While the relative risk of serious infection was elevated across all antirheumatic treatments, the message should not be that non-use is the way to reduce infection risk in seniors," the authors write. "Rather, seniors with rheumatoid arthritis have significant morbidity related to serious infections and require enhanced vigilance in the management of their pharmacotherapy and comorbidities."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events