Lupus-Related Kidney Disease Predicts More Severe Cases of COVID-19
Data from 48 case studies of people with lupus from around the world revealed that those with lupus nephritis (LN, lupus-related kidney disease) were roughly five times more likely to develop severe to critical COVID-19 compared to people with lupus without LN. COVID-19 cases are categorized as mild, moderate, severe or critical, indicating escalating disease severity, respectively. Meanwhile, kidney involvement in lupus suggests more aggressive disease requiring higher doses of medications that suppress the immune system.
Of the 48 people whose case studies were included in the review, just under half (22 people or 46%) had severe to critical COVID-19, and about one in four people died.
The researchers found LN was the only clear predictor of severe/critical COVID-19 cases in people with lupus. Other baseline characteristics, like age and medication usage (e.g., hydroxychloroquine) were not significantly linked to more serious COVID-19 illness.
People with lupus are more vulnerable to viral infections, and it’s critically important to stay as safe as possible by following the recommended CDC guidelines. Learn more about COVID-19 and lupus.