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11-08-2020 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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Systemic autoimmune conditions linked to severe COVID-19 disease course

Claire Barnard

medwireNews: Patients with systemic autoimmune conditions may have a higher risk for a severe COVID-19 disease course than those with chronic inflammatory arthritis, researchers report.

These findings are based on a real-world study of 123 autoimmune rheumatic disease (AIRD) patients in Madrid, Spain, who developed symptomatic COVID-19 in March–April 2020. These individuals were aged an average of 60 years, the majority (70%) were women, and the most common AIRD was rheumatoid arthritis (40.65%), followed by axial spondyloarthritis (14.63%).

As reported in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, multivariable analysis demonstrated that people with systemic autoimmune conditions – including polymyalgia rheumatica, systemic lupus erythematosus, mixed connective tissue disease, and Sjögren’s syndrome – had a significant 3.55-fold increased risk for hospitalization relative to those with chronic inflammatory arthritis after adjustment for sex, age, and comorbidities.

Older age was also significantly associated with COVID-19 hospitalization in the adjusted analysis, but glucocorticoid use was not.

While they acknowledge that the identified risk factors are not modifiable, and that their “preliminary” results require validation, Leticia Leon (Hospital Clinico San Carlos) and colleagues hope that their findings “can help rheumatologists to treat and advise their patients during this new and challenging period.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2020 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

11 August 2020: 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.

Ann Rheum Dis 2020; doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-217984

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