Low COVID-19 risk for people with rheumatic diseases
A new study shows that people with a rheumatic disease may have a low risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus. According to the study, most people who become infected also have a mild course of the disease, and few rheumatic patients are at risk of dying from covid-19.
New compiled research on how people with rheumatic diseases are affected by covid-19 was presented to a conference at the American College of Rheumatology. There has been concern about how people with RA and other conditions may be affected by the coronavirus, not least because many are treated with drugs that inhibit the immune system and can increase the risk of infection. It has been suggested that rheumatologists might pause treatment with certain types of medications during the pandemic. However, the new study does not indicate that this measure would be needed.
The study compiled findings from several studies of people with rheumatic diseases, in which a total of 6,095 people had participated. Of these 6,095 people, 123 people had been infected with the coronavirus. Of these, 13 patients needed intensive care and four died.
The researchers behind the study now hope that more studies can be carried out to see if there are any subgroups of people with rheumatic disease who are at greater risk of being seriously affected by the coronavirus, in order to take increased precautions in the future.