POLYMYALGIA RHEUMATICA FOLLOWING SARSCOV-2 VACCINATION: A SINGLE CENTER COHORT STUDY
Authors: Lindsay Lally et al.
Many patients are convinced that their newly diagnosed inflammatory rheumatic disease is caused by COVID infection or vaccination. The aim of this study was to identify patients with temporal association between mRNA SARS-CoV2 vaccination and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) onset and to compare characteristics and disease course to those with new onset PMR without temporal association with SARS CoV2.
Patients who developed onset of PMR symptoms within 6 weeks after vaccination were compared to those whose PMR symptoms occurred without temporal association to vaccination. When available data at 6- and 12-months following diagnosis was collected. Eighty patients with newly diagnosed PMR between 12/1/2020 and 12/31/2021 were identified. There were 60 patients with new PMR without a temporal association to vaccination who were compared to 20 patients who developed PMR symptoms within 6 weeks of vaccination. In the 20 cases with PMR onset after vaccination, symptoms developed a mean 38 days (IQR 19.5-48) after first dose of vaccine and 11.5 days (IQR 1-22) after second dose. There were no differences in baseline demographics, glucocorticoid dosages or relapse rates at 6- and 12-months following diagnosis. There was no association between vaccine manufacturer and PMR onset after vaccination.
Collectively, the data do not support the assumption that PMR following vaccination is a unique disease entity. They rather suggest that PMR onset following SARS CoV2 vaccine is coincidental in this common inflammatory disorder in a population with high rates of vaccine exposure.