COVID-19 more severe than influenza in patients with autoimm
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Patients with autoimmune diseases were advised to shield to avoid COVID-19, but information on their prognosis is lacking. Researchers characterized 30-day outcomes and mortality after hospitalization with COVID-19 among patients with prevalent autoimmune diseases, and compared outcomes after hospital admissions among similar patients with seasonal influenza.

A multinational network cohort study was conducted using electronic health records data from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) (United States [US]), Optum [US], Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (US), Information System for Research in Primary Care-Hospitalization Linked Data (SIDIAP-H) (Spain), and claims data from IQVIA Open Claims (US) and Health Insurance and Review Assessment (HIRA) (South Korea). All patients with prevalent autoimmune diseases, diagnosed and/or hospitalized between January and June 2020 with COVID-19, and similar patients hospitalized with influenza in 2017–2018 were included. Outcomes were death and complications within 30 days of hospitalization.

-- Researchers studied 133 589 patients diagnosed and 48418 hospitalized with COVID-19 with prevalent autoimmune diseases.

-- Most patients were female, aged more than 50 years with previous comorbidities.

-- The prevalence of hypertension, chronic kidney disease and heart disease was higher in hospitalized vs diagnosed patients with COVID-19.

-- Compared with 70 660 hospitalized with influenza, those admitted with COVID-19 had more respiratory complications including pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, and higher 30-day mortality.

Conclusively, compared with influenza, COVID-19 is a more severe disease, leading to more complications and higher mortality.