Morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 examined in people with rheumatic diseases

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The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome of coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a special concern for people with inflammatory diseases and there is concern that these people have a higher risk and have worse results. However, at present the implications remain misunderstood. Data based on the population of Spain show that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had a higher risk of diagnosis and hospitalization of COVID-19 compared to the general population. Similarly, data from the ARTIS database in Sweden show that the risks of severe COVID-19 increased among people with inflammatory diseases of the joints.

Arani Vivekanantham and colleagues investigated the association between RA and the risk of COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization with COVID-19, and COVID-19-related . This population-based cohort study includes all people enrolled in the Information System for Primary Care Research (SIDIAP), which covers more than 80% of the population of Catalonia, Spain. This information was related to SARS-CoV-2 testing throughout the region, and mortality records. Between March 1 and May 6, 2020, outpatient diagnoses of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths with COVID-19 were identified.

A total of 5,586,565 people were identified, of whom 16,344 had RA. Having RA was positively associated with the diagnosis of COVID-19 and hospitalization with COVID-19. However, the authors did not find an association between RA and the risk of worsening from outpatient diagnosis to hospitalization or death, nor from hospitalization to death.

The authors believe that this is the largest study conducted to date on the results of COVID-19 in people with RA. Additional research is needed to address the factors linking RA and COVID-19 outcomes, including the presence of other comorbidities, the underlying activity of RA disease, and the use of immunosuppressive drugs.

A second poster by Bower and colleagues analyzed all-cause mortality, the absolute and relative risks of severe COVID-19 in people with chronic inflammatory joint disease, compared with both time and . Using ARTIS data – a Swedish national database – hospitalization data, entry at and deaths from COVID-19 were analyzed in 110,567 people with inflammatory joint disease, including RA, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, spondyloarthritis, or juvenile idiopathic arthritis. They were compared with the results of 484,277 people in the general population.

In all groups, the absolute risk of death from any cause in 2020 was higher than in 2015-2019, with a peak in mid-April, but the relative mortality risks relative to the general population remained similar.

Among people with inflammatory joint disease in 2020, the risk of hospitalization, admission to intensive care, and death from COVID-19 was 0.5%, 0.04%, and 0.1%, respectively.

After the presentation of the original summary, Dr. Bower adds an update that among people with inflammatory joint disease in 2020, the risk of hospitalization, admission to intensive care, and death from COVID-19 was 0.3%, 0.03%, and 0.07%, respectively. .


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Provided by the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology

Citation: COVID-19 morbidity and mortality examined in people with rheumatic diseases (2021, June 18) Retrieved June 19, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-covid-morbidity-mortality-people- rheumatic.html

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