Outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with primary systemic vasculitis or polymyalgia rheumatica from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance physician registry: a retrospective cohort study

Global Rheumatology Alliance

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Abstract

Background: Patients with primary systemic vasculitis or polymyalgia rheumatica might be at a high risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes due to the treatments used, the potential organ damage cause by primary systemic vasculitis, and the demographic factors associated with these conditions. We therefore aimed to investigate factors associated with COVID-19 outcomes in patients with primary systemic vasculitis or polymyalgia rheumatica. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, adult patients (aged ≥18 years) diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 12, 2020, and April 12, 2021, who had a history of primary systemic vasculitis (antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody [ANCA]-associated vasculitis, giant cell arteritis, Behçet's syndrome, or other vasculitis) or polymyalgia rheumatica, and were reported to the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance registry were included. To assess COVID-19 outcomes in patients, we used an ordinal COVID-19 severity scale, defined as: (1) no hospitalisation; (2) hospitalisation without supplemental oxygen; (3) hospitalisation with any supplemental oxygen or ventilation; or (4) death. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs), adjusting for age, sex, time period, number of comorbidities, smoking status, obesity, glucocorticoid use, disease activity, region, and medication category. Analyses were also stratified by type of rheumatic disease. Findings: Of 1202 eligible patients identified in the registry, 733 (61·0%) were women and 469 (39·0%) were men, and their mean age was 63·8 years (SD 17·1). A total of 374 (31·1%) patients had polymyalgia rheumatica, 353 (29·4%) had ANCA-associated vasculitis, 183 (15·2%) had giant cell arteritis, 112 (9·3%) had Behçet's syndrome, and 180 (15·0%) had other vasculitis. Of 1020 (84·9%) patients with outcome data, 512 (50·2%) were not hospitalised, 114 (11·2%) were hospitalised and did not receive supplemental oxygen, 239 (23·4%) were hospitalised and received ventilation or supplemental oxygen, and 155 (15·2%) died. A higher odds of poor COVID-19 outcomes were observed in patients who were older (per each additional decade of life OR 1·44 [95% CI 1·31–1·57]), were male compared with female (1·38 [1·05–1·80]), had more comorbidities (per each additional comorbidity 1·39 [1·23–1·58]), were taking 10 mg/day or more of prednisolone compared with none (2·14 [1·50–3·04]), or had moderate, or high or severe disease activity compared with those who had disease remission or low disease activity (2·12 [1·49–3·02]). Risk factors varied among different disease subtypes. Interpretation: Among patients with primary systemic vasculitis and polymyalgia rheumatica, severe COVID-19 outcomes were associated with variable and largely unmodifiable risk factors, such as age, sex, and number of comorbidities, as well as treatments, including high-dose glucocorticoids. Our results could be used to inform mitigation strategies for patients with these diseases. Funding: American College of Rheumatology and the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e855-e864
JournalThe Lancet Rheumatology
Volume3
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and participating members of the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance and do not necessarily represent the views of the American College of Rheumatology, the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology, the UK National Health Service, the NIHR, the UK Department of Health, or any other organisation. Patient research partners (KB and LN) were involved in the design, conduct, reporting and interpretation of the results of this study. Patient partners have participated in the development of this manuscript and are listed as coauthors.

Funding Information:
SES reports funding from a Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC)–Vasculitis Foundation Fellowship (the VCRC is part of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network, an initiative of the Office of Rare Diseases Research, National Center for Advancing Translational Science [NCATS], and is funded by a collaboration between NCATS and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases [NIAMS; U54 AR057319]). RC reports speaker's fees from Janssen, Roche, Sanofi, and Abbvie outside the submitted work. CH received funding under a sponsored research agreement from Vifor Pharmaceuticals, outside the submitted work. SLM has received consulting fees from AbbVie; consulting fees from AstraZeneca; other from Roche-Chugai; consulting fees from Sanofi; and non-financial support from Roche, all outside the submitted work; and is a patron of the patient charity PMRGCAuk. PM is a Medical Research Council-GlaxoSmithKline (MRC-GSK) EMINENT clinical training fellow, who has received project funding from this organisation, outside the submitted work; has received funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre (UCLH BRC); reports grants from MRC-GSK; reports personal fees from Swedish Orphan Biovitrum and Lilly; and reports consultancy fees from Abbvie and Pfizer, all outside the submitted work. LN reports being a trustee of the charity PMR-GRA Scotland. JSA reports grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and NIAMS, the Rheumatology Research Foundation, the Brigham Research Institute, the R Bruce and Joan M Mickey Research Scholar Fund, and Amgen; grants and personal fees from Bristol-Myers Squibb; and personal fees from Gilead, Inova, Janssen, Optum, and Pfizer, all outside the submitted work. AD-G is supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Rheumatology Research Foundation Scientist Development Award, the Robert D and Patricia E Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, and the Women's Health Career Enhancement Award outside the submitted work. KLH reports receiving speaker's fees from Abbvie; grant income from Bristol-Myers Squibb, UCB Pharma, and Pfizer, all outside the submitted work; and is supported by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre outside the submitted work. RG reports non-financial support from Pfizer Australia and Janssen Australia; and personal fees from Pfizer Australia, Cornerstones, Janssen New Zealand, and Novartis, all outside the submitted work. UM-L is supported by grants from the German Ministry of Research and Education and the German Research Foundation outside the submitted work. MAG reports funding from the NIH and the NIAMS. PCR reports personal fees from Abbvie and Gilead; grants and personal fees from Janssen, Novartis, UCB Pharma, and Pfizer; non-financial support from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer; and personal fees from Lilly and Roche, all outside the submitted work. JY reports no competing interests related to this work; is supported by grants from NIH (K24 AR074534 and P30 AR070155); and reports consulting fees from Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Aurinia, and AstraZeneca, all outside the submitted work. PMM has received consulting or speaker's fees from Abbvie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Galapagos, Janssen, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and UCB Pharma, all outside the submitted work (all <$10 000); and is supported by the NIHR UCLH BRC outside the submitted work. ES is a board member of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, which is a patient-run, volunteer-based organisation, whose activities are largely supported by independent grants from pharmaceutical companies. JWL reports grants from Pfizer, outside the submitted work. JSH reports no competing interests related to this work; is supported by grants from the Rheumatology Research Foundation; receives salary support from the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance; and reports consulting fees for Novartis, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, and Biogen, all outside the submitted work (<$10 000). PS reports no competing interests related to this work, but reports receiving honorarium for editing social media for the American College of Rheumatology journals (<$10 000). SBh reports receiving non-branded consulting fees from AbbVie, Amgen, Horizon, Novartis, and Pfizer (<$10 000 from each)outside the submitted work. ZSW reports receiving grant support from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Principia-Sanofi; has consulted for Viela Bio and MedPace; and is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, all outside the submitted work. AS reports personal fees for lectures from AbbVie, Celltrion, Lilly, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Pfizer outside the submitted work. EFM has received grants from Abbvie, Novartis, Lilly Portugal, Amgen Biofarmacêutica, Grünenthal SA, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Medac, and A Menarini Portugal-Farmacêutica SA; grants and non-financial support from Pfizer; and non-financial support from Grünenthal, all outside the submitted work. LG reports research grants from Amgen, Galapagos, Janssen, Lilly, Pfizer, Sandoz, and Sanofi; consulting fees from AbbVie, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Biogen, Celgene, Galapagos, Gilead, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Samsung Bioepis, Sanofi-Aventis, and UCB Pharma, all outside the submitted work. LC declares no competing interests related to this study, but her institute works by contract for laboratories among other institutions, such as Abbvie Spain, Eisai, Gebro Pharma, Merck Sharp & Dohme España SA, Novartis Farmaceutica, Pfizer, Roche Farma, Sanofi Aventis, Astellas Pharma, Actelion Pharmaceuticals España, Grünenthal, and UCB Pharma. NJP reports grants from NIH during the conduct of the study. MU-G reports grants from Pfizer and Janssen, outside the submitted work. SBa reports grants and personal fees from Alexion Pharma, outside the submitted work. RV reports grants from Novartis, Pfizer, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests.

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and participating members of the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance and do not necessarily represent the views of the American College of Rheumatology, the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology, the UK National Health Service, the NIHR, the UK Department of Health, or any other organisation. Patient research partners (KB and LN) were involved in the design, conduct, reporting and interpretation of the results of this study. Patient partners have participated in the development of this manuscript and are listed as coauthors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

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