HealthDay News — Adults who received image-guided corticosteroid injections for musculoskeletal pain between April 2020 and February 2021 had a lower incidence of symptomatic COVID-19 than the general population in Massachusetts, according to a study published online July 5 in Radiology.

Joao R.T. Vicentini, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the incidence of symptomatic COVID-19 in individuals receiving image-guided corticosteroid injections for musculoskeletal pain between April 2020 and February 2021 in a prospective cohort multicenter study. A total of 2190 adult participants underwent 2714 corticosteroid injections; follow-up data were available for 1960 adults who received 2484 injections. The Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Reporting website was used to obtain the incidence of COVID-19 in the state during the same period.

The researchers found that 0.5 and 2.2% of participants had COVID-19 within 28 days of the corticosteroid injection and up to 4 months after the injection, respectively. This was lower than the general population incidence rate of COVID-19, which was 7.5% in the population of Massachusetts during the same period. Compared with the entire cohort that received corticosteroid injections, participants with COVID-19 at 28 days had elevated body mass index.

“These findings provide reassurance to providers and individuals who rely on corticosteroid injections for the management of musculoskeletal pain during potential new COVID-19 surges, even in places with low vaccination rates,” the authors write.

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