Table 3

Clinical outcomes of patients with systemic rheumatic disease with COVID-19 infection (n=52) and age, sex and diagnosis date matched comparators (n=104)

CharacteristicRheumatic disease (n=52)No
rheumatic disease (n=104)
P value
Hospitalisation23 (44)42 (40)0.50
 Length of stay (days)8 (4–21)9 (4–16)0.83
 Oxygen required*17 (74)26 (67)0.55
 Intensive care admission/mechanical ventilation*†11 (48)7 (18) 0.01
 Days of mechanical ventilation15 (4–24)12 (5–28)0.53
Pharmacological treatment‡23 (44)36 (35)0.24
 Hydroxychloroquine§16 (31)19 (19)0.10
 Azithromycin18 (35)26 (26)0.25
 Interleukin-6 receptor inhibitor1 (2)00.16
 Remdesivir2 (4)00.05
Management of immunosuppressive medications during infection¶
 Medications held12 (23)
 Medications continued6 (12)
 Unknown34 (65)
 Rheumatologist notified5 (10)
Deceased3 (6)4 (4)0.69
  • Data are represented by median (IQR) or number (percentage).

  • *Denominator used for calculation is the number of hospitalised patients.

  • †No patients required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. All patients with intensive care admission were also mechanically ventilated.

  • ‡One patient among the cases and eight patients among the comparators were enrolled in randomised placebo-controlled trials, which included study drugs of tocilizumab, sarliumab and remdesivir, and the patients’ randomisation arms are unknown.

  • §Hydroxychloroquine given for the purpose of COVID-19 treatment or beyond baseline dose if patient was already receiving this as a medication for rheumatic disease.

  • ¶Hydroxychloroquine was not included as an immunosuppressive medication. Glucocorticoids, biological DMARDs, conventional synthetic DMARDs and targeted synthetic DMARDs were included.

  • DMARDs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.