Rheumatic disease patients ‘not over-represented’ in severe COVID-19 cohort
medwireNews: The prevalence of rheumatic diseases is low among patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with severe COVID-19, researchers report.
As outlined in a correspondence to the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 1.1% of 902 patients admitted to a Russian ICU with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia had an autoimmune rheumatic disease. Rheumatoid arthritis was the most common diagnosis (n=5), followed by systemic sclerosis (n=2), while psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and spondyloarthritis each affected one patient.
“[P]atients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases were not over-represented” in this cohort, and the “low” prevalence rate “did not exceed that in the general population (1%–2%),” say Sergey Moiseev (Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Russian Federation) and colleagues.
In all, half of the 10 patients with rheumatic diseases and severe COVID-19 died, while three remained in the ICU at the time of reporting and two recovered. Moiseev and team note that “most critically ill patients with rheumatic disease had predictors of unfavourable outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and obesity, that could contribute to development of acute respiratory distress syndrome.”
And they conclude: “These data indirectly support the current recommendation not to interrupt therapies used in rheumatic patients to avoid flares of autoimmune disease.”
medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature Group
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