medwireNews: Findings from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance (C19-GRA) suggest that people with inflammatory arthritis may have a lower risk for hospitalization than those with other rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).
Richard Conway (St James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland) and colleagues evaluated the outcomes of 105 people with RMDs and COVID-19 in Ireland who were included in the registry between March and August 2020. The most common diagnosis was inflammatory arthritis (41.9%), followed by connective tissue disease and others (23.8%, including systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyalgia rheumatic, and giant cell arteritis), and gout (20.0%).
A total of 25% of patients with inflammatory arthritis required hospital admission, as did 54% of those in the connective tissue disease group and 100% of those with gout. These findings translated into a significantly lower risk for hospitalization among patients with versus without inflammatory arthritis on multivariable analysis, with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 0.09.
Although gout appeared to be a risk factor for hospitalization, this finding “may reflect selection bias and requires future evaluation,” say the researchers. They explain in Rheumatology Advances in Practice that “[g]out is usually managed in primary care in Ireland and since the C19-GRA is a rheumatologist-entered registry these cases could be less likely to be entered.”
In accordance with previous studies, the researchers also identified age (aOR=1.06), number of comorbidities (aOR=1.93), and glucocorticoid use (aOR=15.01) as significant predictors of hospitalization. Use of conventional or biologic DMARDs was not associated with hospitalization risk.
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