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Correspondence on ‘Risk factors for hospital admissions related to COVID-19 in patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases’
  1. Sibel Zehra Aydin1,2,
  2. Elliot Hepworth2,
  3. Peter Tugwell1,2
  1. 1 Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sibel Zehra Aydin, Rheumatology, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine, Ottawa, Canada; drsibelaydin{at}

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COVID-19 is the most devastating pandemic in recent history leading to utmost economic and social disruption that will likely require decades for recovery. Due to the rapid spread of the virus globally, there have been more than 70 000 publications in the 10 months since January 2020. This is understandable given the need to collaborate globally, and act on our understanding of the virus as soon as possible. However, the immense data urgently generated within this short period of time may have major limitations given that the researchers have been unable to spend the time that it usually requires to carefully design the study protocol, obtain ethics approval, collect and appropriately analyse the data.

The risk of COVID-19 in the large patient population with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases is also of major interest. Despite the general elevated risk in rheumatological diseases of serious non-COVID-19 infections, either being linked to the underlying diseases, or to the medications with which they are treated, the risk attributable to COVID-19 in these diseases is not straightforward. One reason is the cytokine release syndrome seen in severe …

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  • Contributors SZA: writing the manuscript; corresponding author. EH and PT: revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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