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08-04-2021 | Rheumatology | News | Article

News in brief

Risk factors for severe COVID-19 identified in patients with systemic vasculitis

Author: Claire Barnard

medwireNews: Background glucocorticoid use and comorbid respiratory disease may be risk factors for developing severe COVID-19 among people with systemic vasculitis, researchers report.

These findings are based on a study of 65 individuals with systemic vasculitis – most commonly antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (85%) – who were diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and July 2020. Patients were aged a median of 70 years and the majority (91%) required hospital admission.

In all, 38% of the study population developed severe COVID-19, defined as a composite of requirement for advanced oxygen therapy, requirement for invasive ventilation, or death.

After adjustment for potentially confounding factors, people who were taking background glucocorticoid therapy for vasculitis (n=45) were significantly more likely to develop severe COVID-19 than those who were not (odds ratio [OR]=3.66), as were those with comorbid respiratory disease (n=13) relative to those without (OR=7.53). Conversely, vasculitis disease activity and the use of non-glucocorticoid immunosuppressants, such as rituximab and cyclophosphamide, were not significantly associated with severe outcomes.

“Together with reports of other cohorts exposed to immunosuppressant medication, these data could inform future public health guidance for individuals with autoimmune disease,” conclude Neil Basu (University of Glasgow, UK) and team in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

8 April 2021: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2021; doi:10.1002/art.41728