Study Shows Increased COVID-19 Mortality Risk for People with Lupus
People with lupus who are hospitalized due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) – a severe complication of COVID-19 – have twice the risk of poor outcomes, including death, compared to people without lupus, new research shows. ARDS is characterized by flu-like symptoms in addition to difficult or uncomfortable breathing, persistent pressure in the chest, reduced oxygen intake, or having a bluish color in the face or lips.
The study, which took place in Brazil, compared the outcomes of 319 people with lupus who were hospitalized due to ARDS and compared them to more than 250,000 cases of people hospitalized with ARDS without lupus. Researchers found lupus significantly increased the risk of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation and death. Among the people who were in the study, lupus also increased these risks more than any other co-occurring illness, such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes.
Although these findings are striking and even scary, they underscore the importance of staying safe and healthy as the pandemic continues. There are several proactive measures you can take to reduce your risk of infection:
- Get vaccinated
- Avoid crowded indoor and outdoor spaces
- Wear a mask when you go out of the house, a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask will give you the most protection
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Wash your hands often with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds
- Kill germs with alcohol-based gels or wipes at home and in public
Talk to your doctor about the best ways to protect yourself and learn more about COVID-19 and lupus.