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Lancet Rheumatol ; 2(9): e557-e564, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-623270


Background: In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the susceptibility of patients with rheumatic diseases to COVID-19 remains unclear. We aimed to investigate susceptibility to COVID-19 in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We did a multicentre retrospective study of patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases in Hubei province, the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in China. Patients with rheumatic diseases were contacted through an automated telephone-based survey to investigate their susceptibility to COVID-19. Data about COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis were collected. Families with a documented history of COVID-19 exposure, as defined by having at least one family member diagnosed with COVID-19, were followed up by medical professionals to obtain detailed information, including sex, age, smoking history, past medical history, use of medications, and information related to COVID-19. Findings: Between March 20 and March 30, 2020, 6228 patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases were included in the study. The overall rate of COVID-19 in patients with an autoimmune rheumatic disease in our study population was 0·43% (27 of 6228 patients). We identified 42 families in which COVID-19 was diagnosed between Dec 20, 2019, and March 20, 2020, in either patients with a rheumatic disease or in a family member residing at the same physical address during the outbreak. Within these 42 families, COVID-19 was diagnosed in 27 (63%) of 43 patients with a rheumatic disease and in 28 (34%) of 83 of their family members with no rheumatic disease (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2·68 [95% CI 1·14-6·27]; p=0·023). Patients with rheumatic disease who were taking hydroxychloroquine had a lower risk of COVID-19 infection than patients taking other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (OR 0·09 [95% CI 0·01-0·94]; p=0·044). Additionally, the risk of COVID-19 was increased with age (adjusted OR 1·04 [95%CI 1·01-1·06]; p=0·0081). Interpretation: Patients with autoimmune rheumatic disease might be more susceptible to COVID-19 infection than the general population. Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Tongji Hospital Clinical Research Flagship Program.

Ann Rheum Dis ; 79(8): 1007-1013, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-342666


OBJECTIVE: The clinical features of rheumatic patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have not been reported. This study aimed to describe the clinical features of COVID-19 in rheumatic patients and provide information for handling this situation in clinical practice. METHODS: This is a retrospective case series study. Deidentified data, including gender, age, laboratory and radiological results, symptoms, signs, and medication history, were collected from 2326 patients diagnosed with COVID-19, including 21 cases in combination with rheumatic disease, in Tongji Hospital between 13 January and 15 March 2020. RESULTS: Length of hospital stay and mortality rate were similar between rheumatic and non-rheumatic groups, while the presence of respiratory failure was more common in rheumatic cases (38% vs 10%, p<0.001). Symptoms of fever, fatigue and diarrhoea were seen in 76%, 43% and 23% of patients, respectively. There were four rheumatic patients who experienced a flare of rheumatic disease during hospital stay, with symptoms of muscle aches, back pain, joint pain or rash. While lymphocytopaenia was seen in 57% of rheumatic patients, only one patient (5%) presented with leucopenia in rheumatic cases. Rheumatic patients presented with similar radiological features of ground-glass opacity and consolidation. Patients with pre-existing interstitial lung disease showed massive fibrous stripes and crazy-paving signs at an early stage. Five rheumatic cases used hydroxychloroquine before the diagnosis of COVID-19 and none progressed to critically ill stage. CONCLUSIONS: Respiratory failure was more common in rheumatic patients infected with COVID-19. Differential diagnosis between COVID-19 and a flare of rheumatic disease should be considered. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ChiCTR2000030795.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Rheumatic Diseases/virology , Adult , Aged , China , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diarrhea/virology , Fatigue/virology , Female , Fever/virology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , Retrospective Studies , Symptom Flare Up