medwireNews: Active or untreated systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and glucocorticoid use are associated with an increased risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes, suggest study results from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance (GRA).
A total of 1606 individuals with SLE and COVID-19 who were included in the GRA or EULAR COVID-19 registries between March 2020 and June 2021 were categorized into four groups of COVID-19 severity. These were: not hospitalized (69.6%); hospitalized without oxygen (10.5%); hospitalized with supplementary oxygen or ventilation (13.3%); and death (6.5%).
In a multivariable analysis, the 77 people with severe or high SLE disease activity and the 229 with moderate disease activity were significantly more likely to fall into a greater COVID-19 severity category than the 587 in remission, with odds ratios (ORs) of 3.94 and 1.61, respectively.
Also associated with greater COVID-19 severity were glucocorticoid doses of 1–5 mg/day (OR=1.86), 6–9 mg/day (OR=2.47), and 10 mg/day or higher (OR=1.95) versus no use and no treatment for SLE (OR=1.80) versus antimalarials.
“In addition to these factors specific to SLE, our findings also highlight that many factors associated with more severe COVID-19 outcomes in the general population are important in SLE, including male gender, age and comorbidity burden,” write Manuel Ugarte-Gil (Universidad Cientifica del Sur, Lima, Peru) and colleagues in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
They conclude: “Individuals with lupus and these characteristics should be prioritised for close monitoring, counselled to receive vaccination, and receive preventive therapies if infected with SARS-CoV2.”
medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2022 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group
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