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1.
Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 2021: 7591141, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551096

ABSTRACT

Background and Aims: The impact of COVID-19 has been of great concern in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) worldwide, including an increased risk of severe outcomes and/or possible flare of IBD. This study aims to evaluate prevalence, outcomes, the impact of COVID-19 in patients with IBD, and risk factors associated with severe COVID-19 or flare of IBD activity. Methods: A consecutive cohort of IBD patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection and followed up at the McGill University Health Care Centre was obtained between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021. Demographics, comorbidities, IBD (type, treatments, pre- and post-COVID-19 clinical activity, biomarkers, and endoscopic activity), and COVID-19-related outcomes (pneumonia, hospitalization, death, and flare of IBD disease) were analyzed. Results: A cohort of 3,516 IBD patients was included. 82 patients (2.3%) were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection (median age: 39.0 (IQR 27.8-48.0), 77% with Crohn's disease, 50% were female). The prevalence of COVID-19 infection in IBD patients was significantly lower compared to the general population in Canada and Quebec (3.5% versus 4.3%, p < 0.001). Severe COVID-19 occurred in 6 patients (7.3%); 2 patients (2.4%) died. A flare of IBD post-COVID-19 infection was reported in 8 patients (9.8%) within 3 months. Biologic therapy was held during active COVID-19 infection in 37% of patients. Age ≥55 years (odds ratio (OR): 11.1, 95% CI: 1.8-68.0), systemic corticosteroid use (OR: 4.6, 95% CI: 0.7-30.1), active IBD (OR: 3.8, 95% CI: 0.7-20.8), and comorbidity (OR: 4.9, 95% CI: 0.8-28.6) were factors associated with severe COVID-19. After initial infection, 61% of IBD patients received COVID-19 vaccinations. Conclusion: The prevalence of COVID-19 infection among patients with IBD was lower than that in the general population in Canada. Severe COVID-19, mortality, and flare of IBD were relatively rare, while a large proportion of patients received COVID-19 vaccination. Older age, comorbidities, active IBD disease, and systemic corticosteroid, but not immunosuppressive or biological therapy, were associated with severe COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Crohn Disease , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Crohn Disease/drug therapy , Crohn Disease/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/complications , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/drug therapy , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/epidemiology , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
2.
J Can Assoc Gastroenterol ; 4(Suppl 2): S61-S67, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511000

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had a profound impact on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) health care delivery. The implementation of necessary public health restrictions has restricted access to medications, procedures and surgeries throughout the pandemic, catalyzing widespread change in how IBD care is delivered. Rapid large-scale implementation of virtual care modalities has been shown to be feasible and acceptable for the majority of individuals with IBD and health care providers. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing barriers to accessing high-quality, multidisciplinary IBD care that addresses health care needs holistically. Continued implementation and evaluation of both synchronous and asynchronous eHealthcare modalities are required now and in the future in order to determine how best to incorporate these modalities into patient-centred, collaborative care models. Resources must be dedicated to studies that evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of eHealth-enhanced models of IBD care to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness, while increasing quality of life for persons living with IBD. Crohn's and Colitis Canada will continue to play a major leadership role in advocating for the health care delivery models that improve the quality of life for persons living with IBD.

3.
J Can Assoc Gastroenterol ; 4(Suppl 2): S54-S60, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510999

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered a globally focused vaccine development program that produced multiple successful vaccines within a year. Four SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have been approved for use in Canada, using two different technologies, all of which have shown excellent efficacy in reducing the rate of symptomatic COVID-19 infection and 100% efficacy in preventing death from COVID-19. People with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), like many others with immune-mediated chronic diseases, were excluded from the pivotal trials of these vaccines, leading to early hesitancy by regulatory bodies to endorse administering the vaccines to these groups. However, recent data has shown that the adverse event rate to SARS-CoV-2 vaccine among people with IBD is similar to the general population. Early data has further shown that people with IBD are capable of mounting a robust immune response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, particularly following a second dose, whereas the response to the first dose is blunted in those receiving anti-TNF therapy or conventional immunosuppressants (azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate). Based on these data and evidence from previous vaccine programs among people with IBD, multiple national and international expert panels have recommended that individuals with IBD receive complete vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 as soon as possible.

4.
J Can Assoc Gastroenterol ; 4(Suppl 2): S40-S45, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510998

ABSTRACT

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a disease that results from dysregulation of the immune system and frequently requires medications that can affect the immune response to infections; therefore, it was imperative to quickly understand the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection on persons living with IBD and how that risk may be increased by commonly used IBD medications. The IBD research community in Canada and beyond quickly established collaborative efforts to better understand the specific risk posed by COVID-19 on persons with IBD. We learned that IBD itself was not a risk factor for death or serious complications of COVID-19, and that most commonly used drug classes (with the notable exception of corticosteroids) do not increase the risk of COVID-19-related adverse outcomes. The risk factors for serious complications and death from COVID-19 appear to be similar to those identified in the wider population; those being advanced age, having pre-existing heart or lung disease, and smoking. We recommend that persons with IBD do not alter their course of therapy to avoid complications of COVID-19, though the indiscriminate use of corticosteroids should be avoided. Persons with IBD should follow the same public health recommendations as the general population to reduce their personal risk of acquiring COVID-19.

5.
J Can Assoc Gastroenterol ; 4(Suppl 2): S46-S53, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510997

ABSTRACT

There has been a dramatic rise in mental health difficulties during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. While young adults have the lowest risk of hospitalization and mortality due to COVID-19, they have been identified as being at highest risk of detrimental mental health outcomes during the pandemic, along with women, those with lower socioeconomic status and those with pre-existing mental health conditions. Somewhat of a crisis in mental health has emerged across the general population through the evolution of the pandemic. A national Canadian survey identified a quadrupling of those experiencing pervasive elevated anxiety symptoms early in the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic levels, and a doubling of those with pervasive elevated depressive symptoms. Independent of the pandemic, persons with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can face multiple challenges related to their disease, which can result in a significant psychosocial burden and psychologic distress. Anxiety and depression have been found to be more prevalent in persons with IBD. Many potential factors contribute to the increased psychologic distress and negative impacts on mental health of the COVID-19 pandemic on persons with IBD. These include the fears of contracting COVID-19 or infecting other people. Many believe that IBD or its treatments predispose them to an increased risk of COVID-19 or a worse outcome if acquired. Concerns about access to health care add to mental distress. People with IBD generally report lower quality of life (QOL) compared to community controls. Psychologic interventions, in addition to adequate disease control, have been shown to improve health-related QOL. Uncertainty is another factor associated with reduced health-related QOL. Most studies suggest that persons with IBD have suffered QOL impairment during the pandemic in comparison to the pre-pandemic period. Uncertainties brought on by the pandemic are important contributors for some of the reduction in QOL.

6.
J Can Assoc Gastroenterol ; 4(Suppl 2): S27-S33, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510996

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) typically results in a mild infection, similar to those without IBD. Children and adolescents have less severe manifestations of COVID-19 compared to older people, whether or not they have IBD. However, some IBD medications (in particular, corticosteroids) are associated with more severe COVID-19. During the first year of the global pandemic, more IBD care was provided with online technology, necessitated by efforts to reduce hospital and clinic visits. Additionally, non-endoscopic monitoring of inflammation has been required due to the cancellation of non-urgent procedures, resulting in longer endoscopy wait-times. In contrast, pregnant people (with and without IBD) who contract COVID-19 are at increased risk of severe manifestations, death and preterm delivery, making them a priority for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 protective measures and vaccination. Few studies have examined effect of COVID-19 on IBD-related disease activity in pregnant people with IBD. The pandemic has significantly affected the mental health and sense of well-being of children and their families, as well as pregnant people with IBD. These groups were much more likely to experience anxiety and depression compared with prior to the pandemic, even while concern has mostly abated regarding the effect of IBD medications and COVID-19 severity. Unfortunately, the availability of mental health care providers who specialize in people with IBD has not kept pace with the increasing demand.

7.
J Can Assoc Gastroenterol ; 4(Suppl 2): S20-S26, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510995

ABSTRACT

At the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there were many unknowns: transmission vectors of the virus, appropriate intervention strategies and if being immunocompromised due to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), for example, or medications put a person at increased risk for severe COVID-19. Imposing and relaxing of public health restrictions at different times and in different regions in Canada led to different epidemiologies of the virus in different provinces and territories. In order to understand the waxing and waning of waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to understand the effective reproductive number (R t ) and the countervailing forces that exert upward or downward pressure on the spread of the virus at a given point in time. As many regions in Canada deal with a third wave, the primary forces affecting the R t of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 are variants of concern and the increasing vaccinations of Canadians leading to increased population-level immunity. Fortunately, for the IBD population, current research suggests that those with IBD are not at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, nor of having a more severe disease course when compared to the general population.

8.
J Can Assoc Gastroenterol ; 4(Suppl 2): S10-S19, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510994

ABSTRACT

The prevalence of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, in Canada, is over 0.75% in 2021. Many individuals with IBD are immunocompromised. Consequently, the World Health Organization's declaration of a global pandemic uniquely impacted those with IBD. Crohn's and Colitis Canada (CCC) formed the COVID-19 and IBD Taskforce to provide evidence-based guidance during the pandemic to individuals with IBD and their families. The Taskforce met regularly through the course of the pandemic, synthesizing available information on the impact of COVID-19 on IBD. At first, the information was extrapolated from expert consensus guidelines, but eventually, recommendations were adapted for an international registry of worldwide cases of COVID-19 in people with IBD. The task force launched a knowledge translation initiative consisting of a webinar series and online resources to communicate information directly to the IBD community. Taskforce recommendations were posted to CCC's website and included guidance such as risk stratification, management of immunosuppressant medications, physical distancing, and mental health. A weekly webinar series communicated critical information directly to the IBD community. During the pandemic, traffic to CCC's website increased with 484,755 unique views of the COVID-19 webpages and 126,187 views of the 23 webinars, including their video clips. CCC's COVID-19 and IBD Taskforce provided critical guidance to the IBD community as the pandemic emerged, the nation underwent a lockdown, the economy reopened, and the second wave ensued. By integrating public health guidance through the unique prism of a vulnerable population, CCC's knowledge translation platform informed and protected the IBD community.

9.
J Can Assoc Gastroenterol ; 4(Suppl 2): S1-S9, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510993

ABSTRACT

Persons with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) make up more than 0.75% of the Canadian population in 2021. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals with IBD, particularly those on immunosuppressive therapies, were concerned that their health status may place them at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 or experiencing more severe disease course if infected with SARS-CoV-2. In response, Crohn's and Colitis Canada developed the COVID-19 and IBD Taskforce in March 2020 to rapidly synthesize the evolving knowledge of COVID-19 as relevant to Canadians with IBD. The Taskforce communicated expert information directly to the Canadian IBD community through online tools and a webinar series. In order to understand the full impact of COVID-19 on the IBD community, Crohn's and Colitis Canada commissioned a policy report that was informed through a systematic literature review and synthesized across working groups along the following domains: Epidemiology, Children and Expectant Mothers with IBD, Seniors with IBD, Mental Health, Risk Factors and Medications, Vaccines, and Healthcare Delivery during the Pandemic and the Future Model of IBD Care. This report from Canadian physicians, researchers, and IBD community representatives highlights the physical, mental, and health systems impact of COVID-19 on the entire spectrum of the IBD community, including children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and pregnant people with IBD. This executive summary provides an overview of the crucial information from each of the chapters of the policy report, supplemented with additional information made available through Crohn's and Colitis Canada's webinar-based knowledge translation platform.

10.
J Can Assoc Gastroenterol ; 4(Suppl 2): S34-S39, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510992

ABSTRACT

The risk of hospitalization and death from Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) increases with age. The extreme elderly have been particularly vulnerable, with those above the age of 80 having a case-fatality rate as high as 15%. Aging of the immune system can lead to impaired inflammatory responses where eradication of an organism such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) is inadequate but is exaggerated in such a way as to enhance pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Frailty and comorbidity are both more common in the elderly, and these can enhance the morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. Studies from Northern California and Italy suggest that elderly persons with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) were more likely to acquire SARS-CoV-2 infection than youths with IBD. While the specific impact of age-related comorbidity is less well established among people with IBD who acquire COVID-19, data from the Surveillance Epidemiology of Coronavirus Under Research Exclusion (SECURE-IBD) database reported that having two or more chronic illnesses was independently associated with developing severe COVID-19 among people with IBD. Despite having exaggerated auto-inflammatory responses, people with IBD do not appear to have an overall increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 than the general population. However, whether seniors with IBD do worse once they acquire COVID-19 compared with seniors without IBD is not known. The advent of telehealth care has posed an information technology challenge for many seniors with and without IBD. Most persons with IBD have expressed satisfaction with virtual IBD health care (phone or video-based visits). While the elderly may have less robust immune responses to vaccinations, learning from experiences with other vaccination programs, especially influenza, have shown that vaccinating seniors decreases both morbidity and mortality and, in turn, healthcare resources.

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