ASSOCIATION OF HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE WITH THE INCIDENCE OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE IN SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS: DATA FROM THE LUNA REGISTRY
Authors: Hidekawa C. et al.
Infections are significant causes of mortality in patients with SLE. The effects of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on reducing infections was studied in 925 SLE patients of the Japanese LUNA registry (1,990 person-years).
At enrollment, 267 patients were prescribed HCQ, while 656 were not. The median glucocorticoid dose was 5.5 mg/d, the median systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index was 4. A total of 110 severe infections were reported (pulmonary infections 29.1 %, urinary tract infections 27.3 %, and skin and soft tissue infections 15.5 %). Severe infections were associated with the glucocorticoid dose (OR 1.96), treatment with immunosuppressive drugs (OR 1.56), and age at baseline (OR 1.04). Survival time analysis showed that HCQ users had a lower incidence of severe infections than non-users. In a Cox proportional hazards model, age at baseline and HCQ use (HR 0.32) were significantly associated with incident severe infections.
This study underlines previous findings that demonstrate that HCQ not only prevents SLE flares but also reduces the incidence of infections.