Comparing the burdens of opportunistic #infections among patients with systemic #rheumatic diseases: a nationally representative cohort study

The IR of opportunistic infections was highest for PM/DM cases (61.3/1000 person-years, 95% confidence interval [CI] 56.6–66.2), followed by SLE cases (43.1/1000 person-years, 95% CI 41.7–44.5), SSc cases (31.6/1000 person-years, 95% CI 28.3–35.1), RA cases (25.0/1000 person-years, 95% CI 24.4–25.7), and pSS cases (24.1/1000 person-years, 95% CI 23.1–25.2). Multivariable Cox analysis revealed that, relative to SLE, PM/DM was associated with a significantly higher risk of opportunistic infections (hazard ratio 1.18, 95% CI 1.08–1.29). The risk of opportunistic infections was highest during the first year after the diagnosis of all five rheumatic diseases.

The risk of opportunistic infection was highest for PM/DM, followed by SLE, SSc, RA, and pSS. Careful observation and preventive therapy for opportunistic infections may be warranted in selected PM/DM patients, especially during the first year after the diagnosis.