Environmental factors associated with disease flare in juvenile and adult dermatomyositis

Mamyrova, G.; Rider, L. G.; Ehrlich, A.; Jones, O.; Pachman, L. M.; Nickeson, R.; Criscone-Schreiber, L. G.; Jung, L. K.; Miller, F. W.; Katz, J. D.

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2017 Apr 27


Objective.: The aim was to assess environmental factors associated with disease flare in juvenile and adult dermatomyositis (DM). Methods.: An online survey of DM patients from the USA and Canada examined smoking, sun exposure, infections, medications, vaccines, stressful life events and physical activity during the 6 months before flares, or in the past 6 months in patients without flares. Differences were evaluated by chi 2 and Fisher's exact tests, and significant univariable results were examined in multivariable logistic regression. Residential locations before flare were correlated with the National Weather Service UV index. Results.: Of 210 participants (164 juvenile and 46 adult DM), 134 (63.8%) experienced a disease flare within 2 years of the survey. Subjects more often reported disease flare after sun exposure [odds ratio (OR) = 2.0, P = 0.03], although use of photoprotective measures did not differ between those with and without flare. Urinary tract infections (OR = 16.4, P = 0.005) and gastroenteritis (OR = 3.2, P = 0.04) were more frequent in the preceding 6 months in those who flared. Subjects who flared recently used NSAIDS (OR = 3.0, P = 0.0003), blood pressure medicines (OR = 3.5, P = 0.049) or medication for depression or mood changes (OR = 12.9, P = 0.015). Moving to a new house (OR = 10.3, P = 0.053) was more common in those who flared. Only sun exposure (OR = 2.2) and NSAIDs (OR = 1.9) were significant factors in multivariable analysis. Conclusion.: Certain classes of environmental agents that have been associated with the initiation of DM, including sun exposure and medications, may also play a role in disease flares.

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