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09-11-2020 | ACR 2020 | Conference coverage | News

Pregnancy does not impact COVID-19 outcomes in women with rheumatic diseases

Author: Lucy Piper


medwireNews: Research presented at the ACR Convergence 2020 virtual meeting provides reassurance that pregnant women with rheumatic diseases can expect a favorable outcome if they develop COVID-19.

Presenter Bonnie Bermas (UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA) noted that “in the first 8000 plus cases of COVID-19 in pregnant patients reported to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] in the United States, pregnant patients were more likely to be admitted to the [intensive care unit] and to receive mechanical ventilation.”

To determine if COVID-19 disease course among women with rheumatic disease is indeed disparate to that of non-pregnant women in the general population, Bermas and colleagues studied data from 14 pregnant patients included in the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance registry from March 24, 2020 through July 1, 2020.

Of these, eight had systemic lupus erythematosus (three with co-existing antiphospholipid syndrome), three had rheumatoid arthritis, one had inflammatory arthritis, one spondyloarthropathy, and one myositis. There were eight White women, four Hispanic, one Black woman, and one woman who identified as other.

The main treatments being taken by the women were antimalarials, glucocorticoids, and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors and disease activity was low in 10 of the women, moderate in three, and one woman was in remission.

In all, 28% of the pregnant women were admitted to hospital with COVID-19, compared with a rate of 35% among the first 110 non-pregnant women in the registry, and only one woman required supplemental oxygen. There were two cases of co-infection (Clostridium difficile and pneumonia) and no deaths, compared with 6% among the non-pregnant women.

Bermas concluded: “In this small series of pregnant rheumatic disease patients from an international physician registry, pregnant COVID-19 patients present with similar symptoms and have a similar course to what is seen in the non-pregnant population.

“Other series seem to report similar findings”

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

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ACR Convergence virtual meeting; 5–9 November 2020