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Correspondence on ‘Factors associated with COVID-19-related death in people with rheumatic diseases: results from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance physician-reported registry’
  1. Ben Mulhearn1,2
  1. 1Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Bath, UK
  2. 2Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath, Bath, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ben Mulhearn, Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Bath BA1 3NG, UK; ben.mulhearn{at}

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I read with great interest the recent work from the COVID-19 European League Against Rheumatism registry authored by Strangfeld et al and the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance1 describing the risk factors for COVID-19 mortality in patients with rheumatic diseases.

It should perhaps not be surprising that high disease activity in rheumatic diseases is associated with mortality from COVID-19. In rheumatoid arthritis, high disease activity has been shown to be an independent risk factor for severe infection, with a 30% increase in relative risk for every 0.5-unit increase in the 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28).2 The same authors found no association between either biologic or glucocorticoid use and severe infections. The linear relationship between serious infection …

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  • Contributors BM drafted and submitted the entirety of the report.

  • 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.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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

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