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Regierer, Anne Constanze; Hasseli, Rebecca; Schaefer, Martin; Hoyer, Bimba F.; Krause, Andreas; Lorenz, Hanns-Martin; Pfeil, Alexander; Richter, Jutta; Schmeiser, Tim; Schulze-Koops, Hendrik; Strangfeld, Anja; Voll, Reinhard E.; Specker, Christof and Mueller-Ladner, Ulf (2021): TNFi is associated with positive outcome, but JAKi and rituximab are associated with negative outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with RMD. In: Rmd Open, Vol. 7, No. 3, e001896

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Introduction Several risk factors for severe COVID-19 specific for patients with inflammatory rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) have been identified so far. Evidence regarding the influence of different RMD treatments on outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection is still poor. Methods Data from the German COVID-19-RMD registry collected between 30 March 2020 and 9 April 2021 were analysed. Ordinal outcome of COVID-19 severity was defined: (1) not hospitalised, (2) hospitalised/not invasively ventilated and (3) invasively ventilated/deceased. Independent associations between demographic and disease features and outcome of COVID-19 were estimated by multivariable ordinal logistic regression using proportional odds model. Results 2274 patients were included. 83 (3.6%) patients died. Age, male sex, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, chronic lung diseases and chronic kidney disease were independently associated with worse outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Compared with rheumatoid arthritis, patients with psoriatic arthritis showed a better outcome. Disease activity and glucocorticoids were associated with worse outcome. Compared with methotrexate (MTX), TNF inhibitors (TNFi) showed a significant association with better outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR 0.6, 95% CI0.4 to 0.9). Immunosuppressants (mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide and ciclosporin) (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.9), Janus kinase inhibitor (JAKi) (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.7) and rituximab (OR 5.4, 95% CI 3.3 to 8.8) were independently associated with worse outcome. Conclusion General risk factors for severity of COVID-19 play a similar role in patients with RMDs as in the normal population. Influence of disease activity on COVID-19 outcome is of great importance as patients with high disease activity-even without glucocorticoids-have a worse outcome. Patients on TNFi show a better outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection than patients on MTX. Immunosuppressants, rituximab and JAKi are associated with more severe course.

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