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Submitted: 27 Feb 2021
Accepted: 16 Apr 2021
ePublished: 21 Jun 2021
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Immunopathol Persa. 2021;7(2): e35.
doi: 10.34172/ipp.2021.35
  Abstract View: 152
  PDF Download: 143

Original

The prevalence of COVID-19 in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or systemic lupus erythematosus receiving biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs

Arman Ahmadzadeh 1 ORCID logo, Faraneh Farsad 1 ORCID logo, Mohammad Mehdi Emam 1 ORCID logo, Alireza Rajaei 1 ORCID logo, Samaneh Hatami 1 * ORCID logo, Latif Gachkar 2 ORCID logo

1 Department of Adult Rheumatology, Loghman Hakim Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Infectious Disease, School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Loghman Hakim Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
*Correspondence to Samaneh Hatami, Email: Shmrb89@gmail.com

Abstract

Introduction: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) became a global pandemic in 2019. Some studies have shown that the virus can cause a higher mortality in people with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, those taking immunosuppressive drugs, and those with underlying disorders, than in the general population.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic disorders who received biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The effect of precautionary self-isolation in these patients was also determined.

Patients and Methods: This descriptive study involved 200 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and multiple sclerosis (MS) who were treated with biologic DMARDs. Patients with symptoms of the coronavirus infection were invited to have a COVID-19 test that involved a COVID-19 IgG antibody test or a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (i.e., nasal swab). Additionally, patients were asked about their precautionary self-isolation status during this period.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 51.29 years ± 13.38 years. The ratio of males to females was 27 to 173. Of the 200 patients included in the study, 156 (78%) had RA, 10 (5%) had SLE, and 34 (17%) had MS. Seventy-five percent of the patients used rituximab. Ten patients (5%) were symptomatic of COVID-19, although only four patients had a definitive diagnosis of the disease. All patients who were symptomatic of COVID-19 took rituximab. Ten percent of patients who did not observe the precautionary self-isolation period were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Conclusion: Patients who receive biologic DMARDs have a lower risk of developing COVID-19 and a lower risk of mortality from the disease than the general population.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Biologic DMARD
Citation: Ahmadzadeh A, Farsad F, Emam MM, Rajaei A, Hatami S, Gachkar L. The prevalence of COVID-19 in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or systemic lupus erythematosus receiving biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Immunopathol Persa. 2021;7(2):e35. DOI:10.34172/ ipp.2021.35.
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