Coronavirus Disease-2019 Infection among Asians with Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases—Single Centre Experience in Malaysia.
The coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic has disrupted modern human living since its onset. As of 22 September 2022, there were about 610 million reported cases worldwide with near to 6.5 million deaths. Certain population groups are at higher risk of severe infection and poor outcomes, including patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases. This is a retrospective observational study involving COVID-19 infections among the patients with ARD encountered at our rheumatology unit, in the state of Kelantan. The cases were identified through our local healthcare network and patients’ own narration, from March 2020 until April 2022. The data were analyzed with both parametric and non-parametric tests using Stat Plus, which included Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance and logistic regression. The infection severity was classified based on the National Institute of Health guidelines.
Whereas the infection outcomes comprised 3 components: full recovery, sequelae and fatality.
A total of 71 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection were recorded, affecting 62 patients. Nine patients had recurrent infections. Fifty-nine point two percent (59.2%) of infections occurred during the Delta variant dominance period, followed by 36.6% within the Omicron variant dominance period. Ninety-five point eight percent (95.8%) of cases involved female patients. All were of South East Asian descent with a median age of 39-yearsold and 66.2% were less than 50-years-old.
The most common ARD diagnosis was systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (53.5%), followed by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (31%). Most patients (54.9%) attained low disease activity and remission prior to infection. 56.3% (40/71) had received at least one IS [excluding hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and steroids],
mostly conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs methotrexate the commonest, followed by leflunomide and azathioprine. Mycophenolate mofetil use was seen in 3 patients.
Osteol Rheumatol Open J. 2022; 1(1): 71-81. doi: 10.17140/ORHOJ-1-118