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A large Canadian study of the drug use in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) demonstrated no evidence that the risk of serious, hospitalized infection was influenced by the use of DMARD and/or of tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) therapy.
They studied 747 AS patients who initiated TNFI and/or DMARDs between 2001 and 2011 to identify hospitalized infection coding data and hospital discharge diagnoses.
With nearly 2 years of follow-up there was 57 hospitalized infections (incidence rate of 2.9/100 person-years).
The risk of hospitalized infection was not increased for those receiving TNFi (HZ = 1.00; 95% confidence interval 0.47–2.11) or DMARDs alone (HZ = 0.96 ;95% CI 0.45–2.04).
Risk was also linked to healthcare use, corticosteroids, and previous hospitalized infections.
These data add to the limited real world data on the risk of infection risk in AS patients requiring more aggressive therapy.