Main Article Content
Antirheumatic agents, Glucocorticoids, Steriods, Antimalarial, Methotrexate
Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder associated with increased risk of infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate infections frequency in rheumatoid arthritis patients and to report the independent associated risk factors.
Methods: Rheumatoid arthritis patients (n = 200) were retrospectively reviewed at King Abdulaziz University Hospital Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from January 2008 to December 2010. The rate and predictors of infection were evaluated.
Results: The frequency of infection in rheumatoid arthritis patients was (36%). The most common infections were pneumonia, bacteremia and urinary tract infection occurring in 18%, 12%, and 10%, respectively. The strongest and significant predictors for infection were cardiovascular disease (OR = 8.87), renal impairment (OR = 7.12), and steroid use (OR = 1.67).
Conclusions: Infection rate in rheumatoid arthritis patients was high but lower than other studies. Comorbid illnesses (renal and cardiovascular diseases) and steroids in rheumatoid arthritis patients predisposed them to develop infections that may necessitate hospitalization. Comorbid illnesses should be managed early and steroids to be used cautiously in order to reduce infection risk among rheumatoid arthritis patients.