Low incidence of COVID-19 in people with rheumatic disease on biologic therapy

COVID-19, biologic therapy, rheumatoid arthritis covid, psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, coronavirus, pandemic

The incidence of COVID-19 was low in people with rheumatic diseases who were being treated with biologic therapies, experts reported at an international conference.

A research group reviewed published studies about COVID-19 outcomes in patients with rheumatic disease, analysing data from over 6,000 people.

Key findings

  • Only 2% of patients were found to be positive or highly suspicious for COVID-19; 68% of patients with COVID-19 were prescribed biologics, with 31% receiving anti-TNF drugs and 6% receiving JAK inhibitors.
  • In patients who were infected with COVID-19, 73% were never hospitalised.
  • Among those hospitalised, 13 patients required admission to an ICU and four patients died.

“The overall findings of this study are reassuring,” says Dr Akhil Sood. “The risk of COVID-19 among patients with rheumatic disease was low and biologics did not appear to increase the risk of COVID-19 infection.”

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