To investigate the rate, type, characteristics, and predictors of infection in a cohort of patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and a cohort of patients with psoriasis without arthritis (PsC).
A cohort of patients with PsA and a cohort of patients with PsC were followed according to a standard protocol and information on the occurrence of infections was recorded. The rate of infection was estimated by fitting an exponential model. A Weibull regression model was fitted to estimate the relative risk of first infection associated with a number of covariates. Risk factors for recurrent infections were investigated using generalized estimating equations.
There were 498 and 74 infections reported among 695 and 509 patients with PsA and PsC, respectively, with an incidence rate of 19.6 per 100 person-years in the PsA cohort compared with 12.2 in the PsC cohort. The HR of the time to the first infection in PsA versus PsC was 1.6 (p = 0.002), and higher in patients treated with biologics versus nonbiologics at 1.56 (95% CI 1.22–2.00) in PsA and 1.50 (95% CI 0.64–3.54) in the PsC cohorts. Female sex and treatment with biologics were associated with infection in the PsA cohort, whereas a lower Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score and a higher Functional Comorbidity Index were associated with infection in the PsC cohort. Ultraviolet treatment was protective against infection in both cohorts. No difference in rates of hospitalization was found (p = 0.66). There were no infection-related deaths in either cohort.
The incidence rate of infection was higher in the PsA than the PsC cohort and higher among patients treated with biologics. The data confirm the association between infection and biologic treatment in psoriatic disease.