The Lupus Research Alliance is proud to share that the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance, of which the organization is a sponsor, has gathered and published in record time data on 110 people with lupus or another rheumatic disease who also have COVID-19. The paper appeared in the highly prestigious medical journal The Lancet Rheumatology. Lead author is Dr. Jinoos Yazdany, in the Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, at University of California San Francisco.
The worldwide Registry was created by leading rheumatologists, researchers and patients with rheumatic diseases to answer the following key questions related to this population.
- Which drugs that treat rheumatic diseases such as hydroxychloroquine and others might be effective against COVID-19?
- Do medications such as hydroxychloroquine and others put people with rheumatic diseases at more or less risk for COVID-19?
- Who is at high risk for COVID-19?
In less than one week, the Alliance created online portals and forms for healthcare providers around the world to enter unidentified information about people with rheumatic disease who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Soon after, data was input about 110 people on six continents who meet both criteria. The information about each patient included age, sex, race and ethnicity, as well as their specific rheumatic disease, the medications they were taking before COVID-19 was diagnosed, symptoms and co-existing medical conditions such as hypertension. Data also captured information about patients’ experience with COVID-19 including date it was diagnosed, symptoms, treatment and the course of the disease.
Most patients in the Registry had more than one rheumatic condition, but the primary conditions included rheumatoid arthritis psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, and vasculitis; 17 percent had systemic lupus erythematosus.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 included fever (79%); cough (77%); shortness of breath (50%); myalgia (45%); and, sore throat (37%) of patients.
Study authors summarized, “the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance represents the commitment of rheumatologists to generate rapid data to help inform the care of individuals with rheumatic disease and those using immunomodulating therapies. Information from this database will provide timely and responsive real-world data where large literature gaps exist, informing providers of treatment patterns for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, and offering a better understanding of possible risk factors associated with severe outcomes in the rheumatic disease population.”