For a study, researchers sought to look at the prevalence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) who were being treated with biologic or targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs and tsDMARDs), as well as to assess the impact of IMIDs or related therapies on the occurrence and evolution of COVID-19. From January 31, 2020, to May 15, 2020, an observational, cross-sectional investigation was carried out. Clinical data from hospitals, primary care units and community pharmacies were accessed to acquire information on 902 individuals. Adults with IMIDs who had begun treatment with bDMARDs or tsDMARDs 3 months previous to the start of the research were eligible to participate. Patients who did not comply with their treatment regimens were excluded. COVID-19 was labeled “definitive” (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 polymerase chain reaction [PCR]–positive), “possible” (characteristic symptoms and negative PCR), and “suspected” (characteristic symptoms but PCR not performed).
COVID-19 was found in 70 patients (11 definitive, 19 possible, and 40 suspected). The overall prevalence of definite COVID-19 was 1.2%. When all cases were included, the incidence was 7.8%. Patients using biosimilar tumor necrosis factor blockers had a higher risk of developing COVID-19 (odds ratio, 2.308; P<0.001). Infections were less common in patients receiving anti–B-cell treatments (P=0.046). There were low rates of hospitalization (14.3%), pneumonia (14.3%), mortality (2.9%), and thrombosis (2.9%), with 94.3% of patients recovering.
The cumulative incidence of confirmed COVID-19 cases was comparable to the general population, with low rates of hospitalization, intensive care treatment, and death. COVID-19 infection was less common in patients with significant immunosuppression.