“We observed a consistent association between infections and the subsequent development of primary Sjögren’s syndrome,” said Johannes Mofors of the department of medicine at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, in his presentation. “Infections of certain anatomical sites have different associations to Sjögren’s.”
With risk measurements primarily reliant on detecting the presence of MHC genes, this knowledge could be helpful in identifying at-risk patients and give physicians the chance to act before the syndrome emerges, according to Mr. Mofors.
Investigators conducted a retrospective, multicenter, controlled cohort study of 9,993 Swedish individuals from the country’s national patient registry to observe the association between infections and Sjögren’s.
Patients were an average age of 55 years, with either an SSA or SSB infection, with an average observational period of 16 years before diagnosis.
Of the patients with Sjögren’s disease, 21% reported one or more infections prior to diagnosis, compared with 12% among the control group.
When assessing patients by their type of infection, Mr. Mofors and his colleagues found the likelihood of developing Sjögren’s varied depending on which infection was present.