medwireNews: Preliminary findings from the Spanish BIOBADASER registry suggest that patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) may not have an elevated risk for COVID-19 hospitalization or mortality compared with the general population.
Jose Alvaro-Gracia (Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid) and colleagues report that among 41 patients with RMDs treated with biologic (b) or targeted synthetic (ts)DMARDs who received a COVID-19 diagnosis, 68.3% required hospital admission, 14.6% were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 7.3% died. By comparison, the COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality rates for the Spanish general population are 53.6% and 12.0%, respectively, they say.
The most commonly represented RMD in the BIOBADASER population was rheumatoid arthritis (51.2%), followed by spondyloarthritis (29.3%); 61.0% of patients were female and the average age was 59.4 years. Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors were the most frequently used type of DMARD (43.9%), followed by Janus kinase inhibitors (17.1%), interleukin (IL)-6 inhibitors (12.2%), and IL-17A inhibitors (12.2%). The majority of patients (83.3%) were also taking glucocorticoids, and 41.5% were on methotrexate.
Writing in a correspondence to the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Alvaro-Gracia and team acknowledge that the small number of patients in their study “limits the possibility of drawing solid conclusions.” Nonetheless, they say their results “point in the direction that COVID-19 course and mortality in patients with RMDs treated with b/tsDMARD do not differ from the general population.”
medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature Group
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