Risk factors for severe COVID-19 identified in patients with systemic vasculitis
medwireNews: Background glucocorticoid use and comorbid respiratory disease may be risk factors for developing severe COVID-19 among people with systemic vasculitis, researchers report.
These findings are based on a study of 65 individuals with systemic vasculitis – most commonly antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (85%) – who were diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and July 2020. Patients were aged a median of 70 years and the majority (91%) required hospital admission.
In all, 38% of the study population developed severe COVID-19, defined as a composite of requirement for advanced oxygen therapy, requirement for invasive ventilation, or death.
After adjustment for potentially confounding factors, people who were taking background glucocorticoid therapy for vasculitis (n=45) were significantly more likely to develop severe COVID-19 than those who were not (odds ratio [OR]=3.66), as were those with comorbid respiratory disease (n=13) relative to those without (OR=7.53). Conversely, vasculitis disease activity and the use of non-glucocorticoid immunosuppressants, such as rituximab and cyclophosphamide, were not significantly associated with severe outcomes.
“Together with reports of other cohorts exposed to immunosuppressant medication, these data could inform future public health guidance for individuals with autoimmune disease,” conclude Neil Basu (University of Glasgow, UK) and team in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
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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