Conflicting data exist regarding whether patients with systemic rheumatic disease (SRD) experience more severe outcomes related to COVID-19. Using data from adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in New York City during the first wave of the pandemic, we evaluated whether patients with SRD were at an increased risk for severe outcomes.
We conducted a medical records review study including patients aged ≥18 years with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection hospitalized at 3 NewYork-Presbyterian sites, March 3–May 15, 2020. Inverse probability of treatment weighting was applied to a multivariable logistic regression model to assess the association between SRD status and the composite of mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit admission, or death.
Of 3710 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 (mean [SD] age, 63.7 [17.0] years; 41% female, 29% White, and 34% Hispanic/Latinx), 92 (2.5%) had SRD. Patients with SRD had similar age and body mass index but were more likely to be female, ever smokers, and White or Black, compared with those without SRD. A higher proportion of patients with versus without SRD had hypertension and pulmonary disease, and used hydroxychloroquine, corticosteroids, and immunomodulatory/immunosuppressive medications before admission. In the weighted multivariable analysis, patients with SRD had an odds ratio of 1.24 (95% confidence interval, 1.10–1.41; p < 0.01) for the composite of mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit admission, or death, compared with patients without SRD.
During the initial peak of the pandemic in New York City, patients with versus without SRD hospitalized with COVID-19 had a 24% increased likelihood of having severe COVID-19 after multivariable adjustment.