COVID-19 may be a risk factor for rheumatic disease flare
medwireNews: Having COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk for flare among Latino patients with rheumatic diseases, researchers report.
The team analyzed data from 32 patients at a US rheumatology clinic who developed COVID-19 in April–October 2020, all of whom were of Latino ethnicity, while 146 Latino patients without COVID-19 symptoms were selected as the control group. Rheumatoid arthritis was the most common diagnosis in both groups (44–50%), followed by systemic lupus erythematosus (25–30%).
As reported in Arthritis & Rheumatology, 25% of patients experienced a rheumatic disease flare following COVID-19, compared with just 5% of those in the control group, translating into a significant 4.6-fold elevated flare risk among people with COVID-19 on multivariate analysis.
These findings suggest that “[r]heumatologists should follow patients reporting COVID-19 closely during the post-infection period in anticipation of a potential rheumatic disease flare,” say Pravitt Gourh (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) and co-authors.
The researchers also investigated risk factors linked to COVID-19 susceptibility in their cohort, finding that a BMI of more than 30.35 kg/m2 was associated with a significantly increased risk for infection. There were no significant associations between different drug treatments for rheumatic disease – including biologics, Janus kinase inhibitors, and conventional DMARDs – and COVID-19 susceptibility.
medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group
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