COVID-19 Outcomes in Those with Rheumatic Diseases

May 17, 2022

A study published recently in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases looked to “assess the characteristics of inflammatory rheumatic disease (IRD) patients in Kuwait diagnosed with COVID-19 and the factors linked with hospitalization, complications, and mortality.” The study population included 52 patients with a mean age of 55 years. “The majority of patients were ≤65 years (77%), female (77%), non-smokers (80.8%), and diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (67.0%). Of the included patients, 19.2%, 9.6%, and 7.7% reported having methotrexate monotherapy, antimalarials monotherapy, and interleukin-6 inhibitors monotherapy immediately before COVID-19, respectively. Most of the included patients (92.3%) were either in remission or had minimal/low disease activity, while others (7.7%) had moderate disease activity.”

Researchers found that the most reported COVID-19 symptoms at the time of presentation were “cough (60%), fever (54%), and shortness of breath (48%)”. In addition, “forty-three patients (82.7%) were hospitalized, while 11 patients (25.6%) required ventilation (invasive or non-invasive). Ten of the ventilated patients (90.9%) received glucocorticoids as part of the local protocol to treat severe COVID symptoms, and 4 patients (7.69%) died. The duration till symptom-free ranged between 0 to 30 days, with a mean value of 10 days (±6.5).”