18:29 PM

COVID Vaccination Not Associated With Risk of Severe RA Flares

Reuters Health reports study results published in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease find patients with rheumatoid arthritis did not experience flares after receiving a two-dose COVID-19 vaccination, and includes commentary from HSS rheumatologist Medha Barbhaiya, MD, MPH, who was not involved in the study.

Dr. Barbhaiya noted that the study had a couple of limitations, including the use of electronic health records for defined outcomes, as researchers are not able to use standard disease measures or patient-reported outcomes.

She continued, “Using hospitalization or consultation with a specialist to define the outcome of a flare, essentially means they are assessing more severe flares, ones that led to hospitalization or medical consultation.”

Dr. Barbhaiya explained, “Second, very few patients at the time of the study cohort entry were on corticosteroids. That probably means most patients likely had stable disease and very few had active rheumatoid arthritis. Since the ones with active rheumatoid arthritis may be more likely to flare, the generalizability of these findings to patients with RA overall, or at least those with more active disease, is unclear."

"Taking these study limitations into consideration, this study provides complementary information to other studies that have looked at this issue and can offer some reassurance to patients with rheumatoid arthritis," she concluded.

Read the full article at Medscape.com.