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29-04-2021 | Rheumatology | News | Article

News in brief

People with vasculitis have elevated risk for COVID-19, influenza mortality

Claire Barnard

medwireNews: Study findings presented at the online British Society for Rheumatology 2021 Annual Conference suggest that people with vasculitis have an elevated mortality risk during COVID-19 and influenza outbreaks.

The researchers used the NCARDRS registry to evaluate mortality rates among 55,110 people with vasculitis in England who were alive on March 1, 2020.

Megan Rutter (University of Nottingham, UK) reported that 1.6% of these individuals died from any cause during March and April 2020, giving an age-standardized mortality rate (ASMR) per 100,000 person–years of 2567.5 for the first 2 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was higher than the ASMR for the general population during the same period (1361.1) and that for vasculitis patients in the same months of the previous year (1696.3).

Rutter noted that the ASMR for people with vasculitis during the December 2014–January 2015 influenza season was higher than that during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March–April 2020 (2657.61 vs 2567.50).

While acknowledging that “the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched on far further,” and there have been many more deaths since early 2020, she said “this finding does really highlight that our patients who are living with vasculitis are at increased risk during the influenza season as well as during COVID-19.”

She concluded that “annual influenza vaccination for people with vasculitis is important regardless of age, and it’s something we should always be thinking about in our clinics.”

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

29 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.

BSR Annual Conference 2021; 26–28 April

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