Data are lacking on whether patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs) experience more severe complications from COVID-19 infection than the general population. To shed light in this area, researchers conducted a matched cohort study of COVID-19 infection outcomes of patients with SARDs from a network of real-time electronic health records data on more than 52 million patients across 32 healthcare organizations between January 20 and June 1.

Patients with SARDs were matched 1:1 by age, sex, and race/ethnicity with patients without SARDs. Patients with SARDs had higher rates of comorbidities than comparators, including hypertension, asthma, chronic kidney disease, and heart failure. When compared with those without SARDs, those with SARDs had higher risks of hospitalization (relative risk [RR], 1.23), intensive care unit admission (RR, 1.75), mechanical ventilation (RR, 1.77), acute kidney injury (RR, 1.83), and congestive heart failure (RR, 3.06). Although the mortality rate was numerically higher in patients with SARDs than in comparators, it did not reach statistical significance.