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The susceptibility to mycobacterial infections of immunosuppressed subjects, for example, those treated actively for rheumatic diseases, is widely recognized.1 2 However, the co-existence of mycobacterial infection (caused either by Mycobacterium tuberculosis or other mycobacterial infections) and polymyositis (PM) has been reported only in small series of patients 2–5 predominantly from countries where tuberculosis (TB) is endemic 2 3 or in immigrants in a Western country.4 5
We assessed the frequency of mycobacterial infections in patients with PM and dermatomyositis (DM) in Finland, a non-endemic country for TB that has kept detailed registry for TB. All patients with an ICD-8 code for PM (716.00) and DM (716.10) who had been discharged from any Finnish hospital …