Vaccines don’t raise arthritis risk in adults
Common vaccinations don’t raise risk of rheumatoid arthritis, easing fears that they’re linked to the inflammatory disease, according to a new study.
Case reports have suggested vaccines, possibly because of their immune-activating adjuvants, could trigger rheumatoid arthritis, a painful autoimmune disease caused by the body’s natural defenses attacking and inflaming joints.
But a study published online Tuesday in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found no link between common vaccinations for flu, hepatitis, diphtheria and other illnesses and an increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis. The study also found no increased risk for patients getting vaccinations who had a genetic susceptibility to the disease, or who were smokers. Smoking has long been thought to be a major risk factor for the disease.
Receiving multiple vaccines also didn’t up the chances of getting afflicted by the joint disease.
“Our results indicate that immunological provocation of adults with common vaccines in their present form is not a major risk factor for RA,” write the authors, led by Camilla Bengtsson, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. “In addition, our results indicate that active immunization does not increase the risk of RA in individuals with established risk factors.”