WEDNESDAY, April 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new study published online April 11 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases identifies factors tied to hospitalization and infections among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
S. Chandrashekara, M.B.B.S., M.D., from ChanRe Rheumatology and Immunology Centre in Bengaluru, India, and colleagues used data from 2,081 patients participating in the Karnataka Rheumatoid Arthritis Comorbidity study to evaluate risk factors associated with infection and hospitalization in RA.
The researchers found that 22 percent of study participants had hospitalizations and 2.9 percent had infections. Types of infections included dental (1.3 percent), urinary tract (1.6 percent), skin (1.8 percent), soft tissue (0.3 percent), and candidiasis (0.2 percent). Age ≥60 years, lower education, family income, and longer duration of RA were associated with an increased need for hospitalization. Likelihood of infection was tied to the presence of comorbidity, usage of at least three disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and family income.
"Patient-specific risk factors should be considered to improve treatment strategies and to reduce the risk of infection and hospitalization in RA patients," the authors write.