Initial Findings on Lupus and COVID-19 Now Available
Despite increased healthcare system demands and stretched resources, the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance has successfully developed a global registry to capture and share key medical findings relevant to people with rheumatic disease who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Created in less than one week, the new system enables healthcare providers around the world to access online portals and share case reports that shed light on how people with diseases like lupus are responding to the novel coronavirus, helping to answer questions about susceptibility and treatment.
As of April 1, 2020, 110 individuals with rheumatic disease who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are included from six continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. So far, 17% of those reported cases represent people with lupus. Of the entire registry, the most common COVID-19 symptoms reported at the onset of the disease are:
- Fever (79%)
- Cough (77%)
- Shortness of breath (50%)
- Muscle pain (45%)
- Sore throat (37%)
The five most common co-occurring illness according to the current data are:
- High blood pressure (28%)
- Lung disease (20%)
- Heart disease (11%)
- Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 and above (8%)
- Diabetes (8%)
Five percent of those included in the registry have died.
Many people with inflammatory rheumatic disease like lupus may be at risk for serious infections due to their immunocompromised state. Though evidence is currently lacking to guide COVID-19 treatment decisions for this population, the current registry information offers some initial insights into potential risks and clinical considerations for people with lupus – and the data will continue to grow and evolve.
The Lupus Foundation of America is proud to support the Global Rheumatology Alliance’s COVID-19 Registry and will continue to report on its findings as new data is released and analyzed. Learn more about the registry.