Background: An increased risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes may be seen in patients with autoimmune diseases on moderate to high daily doses of glucocorticoids, as well as in those with comorbidities. However, specific information about COVID-19 outcomes in SLE is scarce.
Objectives: To determine the characteristics associated with severe COVID-19 outcomes in a multi-national cross-sectional registry of COVID-19 patients with SLE.
Methods: SLE adult patients from a physician-reported registry of the COVID-19 GRA were studied. Variables collected at COVID-19 diagnosis included age, sex, race/ethnicity, region, comorbidities, disease activity, time period of COVID-19 diagnosis, glucocorticoid (GC) dose, and immunomodulatory therapy. Immunomodulatory therapy was categorized as: antimalarials only, no SLE therapy, traditional immunosuppressive (IS) drug monotherapy, biologics/targeted synthetic IS drug monotherapy, and biologic and traditional IS drug combination therapy. We used an ordinal COVID-19 severity outcome defined as: not hospitalized/hospitalized without supplementary oxygen; hospitalized with non-invasive ventilation; hospitalized with mechanical ventilation/extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; and death. An ordinal logistic regression model was constructed to assess the association between demographic characteristics, comorbidities, medications, disease activity and COVID-19 severity. This assumed that the relationship between each pair of outcome groups is of the same direction and magnitude.
Results: Of 1069 SLE patients included, 1047 (89.6%) were female, with a mean age of 44.5 (SD: 14.1) years. Patient outcomes included 815 (78.8%) not hospitalized/hospitalized without supplementary oxygen; 116 (11.2) hospitalized with non-invasive ventilation, 25 (2.4%) hospitalized with mechanical ventilation/extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and 78 (7.5%) died. In a multivariate model (n=804), increased age [OR=1.03 (1.01, 1.04)], male sex [OR =1.93 (1.21, 3.08)], COVID-19 diagnosis between June 2020 and January 2021 (OR =1.87 (1.17, 3.00)), no IS drug use [OR =2.29 (1.34, 3.91)], chronic renal disease [OR =2.34 (1.48, 3.70)], cardiovascular disease [OR =1.93 (1.34, 3.91)] and moderate/high disease activity [OR =2.24 (1.46, 3.43)] were associated with more severe COVID-19 outcomes. Compared with no use of GC, patients using GC had a higher odds of poor outcome: 0-5 mg/d, OR =1.98 (1.33, 2.96); 5-10 mg/d, OR =2.88 (1.27, 6.56); >10 mg/d, OR =2.01 (1.26, 3.21) (Table 1).
Conclusion: Increased age, male sex, glucocorticoid use, chronic renal disease, cardiovascular disease and moderate/high disease activity at time of COVID-19 diagnosis were associated with more severe COVID-19 outcomes in SLE. Potential limitations include possible selection bias (physician reporting), the cross-sectional nature of the data, and the assumptions underlying the outcomes modelling.
Acknowledgements: The views expressed here are those of the authors and participating members of the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance and do not necessarily represent the views of the ACR, EULAR) the UK National Health Service, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), or the UK Department of Health, or any other organization.
Disclosure of Interests: Manuel F. Ugarte-Gil Grant/research support from: Pfizer, Janssen, Graciela S Alarcon: None declared, Andrea Seet: None declared, Zara Izadi: None declared, Cristina Reategui Sokolova: None declared, Ann E Clarke Consultant of: AstraZeneca, BristolMyersSquibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Exagen Diagnostics, Leanna Wise: None declared, Guillermo Pons-Estel: None declared, Maria Jose Santos: None declared, Sasha Bernatsky: None declared, Lauren Mathias: None declared, Nathan Lim: None declared, Jeffrey Sparks Consultant of: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Inova, Janssen, and Optum unrelated to this work., Grant/research support from: Amgen and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Zachary Wallace Consultant of: Viela Bio and MedPace, Grant/research support from: Bristol-Myers Squibb and Principia/Sanofi, Kimme Hyrich Speakers bureau: Abbvie, Grant/research support from: MS, UCB, and Pfizer, Anja Strangfeld Speakers bureau: AbbVie, MSD, Roche, BMS, Pfizer, Grant/research support from: AbbVie, BMS, Celltrion, Fresenius Kabi, Lilly, Mylan, Hexal, MSD, Pfizer, Roche, Samsung, Sanofi-Aventis, and UCB, Laure Gossec Consultant of: Abbvie, Biogen, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, UCB, Grant/research support from: Lilly, Mylan, Pfizer, Loreto Carmona: None declared, Elsa Mateus Grant/research support from: Pfizer, Abbvie, Novartis, Janssen-Cilag, Lilly Portugal, Sanofi, Grünenthal S.A., MSD, Celgene, Medac, Pharmakern, GAfPA, Saskia Lawson-Tovey: None declared, Laura Trupin: None declared, Stephanie Rush: None declared, Gabriela Schmajuk: None declared, Patti Katz: None declared, Lindsay Jacobsohn: None declared, Samar Al Emadi: None declared, Emily Gilbert: None declared, Ali Duarte-Garcia: None declared, Maria Valenzuela-Almada: None declared, Tiffany Hsu: None declared, Kristin D’Silva: None declared, Naomi Serling-Boyd: None declared, Philippe Dieudé Consultant of: Boerhinger Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lilly, Sanofi, Pfizer, Chugai, Roche, Janssen unrelated to this work, Grant/research support from: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chugaii, Pfizer, unrelated to this work, Elena Nikiphorou: None declared, Vanessa Kronzer: None declared, Namrata Singh: None declared, Beth Wallace: None declared, Akpabio Akpabio: None declared, Ranjeny Thomas: None declared, Suleman Bhana Consultant of: AbbVie, Horizon, Novartis, and Pfizer (all <$10,000) unrelated to this work, Wendy Costello: None declared, Rebecca Grainger Speakers bureau: Abbvie, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, Cornerstones, Jonathan Hausmann Consultant of: Novartis, Sobi, Biogen, all unrelated to this work (<$10,000), Jean Liew Grant/research support from: Pfizer outside the submitted work, Emily Sirotich Grant/research support from: Board Member of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, a patient run, volunteer based organization whose activities are largely supported by independent grants from pharmaceutical companies, Paul Sufka: None declared, Philip Robinson Speakers bureau: Abbvie, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer and UCB (all < $10,000), Consultant of: Abbvie, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer and UCB (all < $10,000), Pedro Machado Speakers bureau: Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and UCB, all unrelated to this study (all < $10,000)., Consultant of: Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and UCB, all unrelated to this study (all < $10,000), Milena Gianfrancesco: None declared, Jinoos Yazdany Consultant of: Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca unrelated to this project
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