Severity of COVID-19 and survival in patients with rheumatic and inflammatory diseases [...]

FAI2R, SFR, SNFMI, SOFREMIP, CRI, IMIDIATE consortium and contributors (2020).



Objectives : There is little known about the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on patients with inflammatory rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (iRMD). We examined epidemiological characteristics associated with severe disease, then with death. We also compared mortality between patients hospitalised for COVID-19 with and without iRMD.


Methods : Individuals with suspected iRMD-COVID-19 were included in this French cohort. Logistic regression models adjusted for age and sex were used to estimate adjusted ORs and 95% CIs of severe COVID-19. The most significant clinically relevant factors were analysed by multivariable penalised logistic regression models, using a forward selection method. The death rate of hospitalised patients with iRMD-COVID-19 (moderate–severe) was compared with a subset of patients with non-iRMD-COVID-19 from a French hospital matched for age, sex, and comorbidities.


Results : Of 694 adults, 438 (63%) developed mild (not hospitalised), 169 (24%) moderate (hospitalised out of the intensive care unit (ICU) and 87 (13%) severe (patients in ICU/deceased) disease. In multivariable imputed analyses, the variables associated with severe infection were age (OR=1.08, 95% CI: 1.05–1.10), female gender (OR=0.45, 95% CI: 0.25–0.80), body mass index (OR=1.07, 95% CI: 1.02–1.12), hypertension (OR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.01–3.42), and use of corticosteroids (OR=1.97, 95% CI: 1.09–3.54), mycophenolate mofetil (OR=6.6, 95% CI: 1.47–29.62) and rituximab (OR=4.21, 95% CI: 1.61–10.98). Fifty-eight patients died (8% (total) and 23% (hospitalised)). Compared with 175 matched hospitalised patients with non-iRMD-COVID-19, the OR of mortality associated with hospitalised patients with iRMD-COVID-19 was 1.45 (95% CI: 0.87–2.42) (n=175 each group).


Conclusions : In the French RMD COVID-19 cohort, as already identified in the general population, older age, male gender, obesity, and hypertension were found to be associated with severe COVID-19. Patients with iRMD on corticosteroids, but not methotrexate, or tumour necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-6 inhibitors, should be considered as more likely to develop severe COVID-19. Unlike common comorbidities such as obesity, and cardiovascular or lung diseases, the risk of death is not significantly increased in patients with iRMD.


(publication) FAI2R, SFR, SNFMI, SOFREMIP, CRI, IMIDIATE consortium and contributors. (2020). Severity of COVID-19 and survival in patients with rheumatic and inflammatory diseases: data from the French RMD COVID-19 cohort of 694 patients. Ann Rheum Dis 2020;0:1–12.

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