Study uncovers potentially avoidable acute care use for vaccine-preventable illnesses in lupus patients

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A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research indicates that few individuals with the autoimmune disease lupus who were publicly insured through Medicaid received recommended vaccines in 2000-2010. Also, those who were unvaccinated needed more acute care for vaccine-preventable illnesses.

From 2000-2010, there were 1,290 patients who visited the emergency department or were hospitalized for vaccine-preventable illness, and 93% of these visits occurred in patients without billing codes for related vaccinations. Patients who were Black had a 22% higher risk of needing such care than those who were white.

“These episodes represent missed opportunities to deliver essential preventive care to our patients, and particularly to patients with heightened vulnerabilities,” said lead author Candace H. Feldman, MD, ScD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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May is Lupus Awareness Month.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr.24628

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