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COVID-19 Outcomes in Racial Minorities with Rheumatic Disease

A study presented on Friday at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology shows that racial minorities with rheumatic disease had increased odds of hospitalization and invasive ventilation.

In a study that examined the association between race/ethnicity and COVID-19 outcomes in people with rheumatic disease, racial/ethnic minority patients with rheumatic disease had increased odds of hospitalization and invasive ventilation, similar to the general population, according to researchers reporting at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology on Friday.

The study was led by Milena Gianfrancesco, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. It included 1,324 black, Latinx and mixed race patients with rheumatic disease who were treated for COVID-19 between March 24 – August 26, 2020. Of these, 36 percent were hospitalized, 6 percent died, and 26 percent of hospitalized patients required mechanical ventilation. Black, Latinx and Asian patients had two to three times higher odds of being hospitalized compared to white patients. Latinx patients had three-fold increased odds of requiring ventilatory support. No differences in mortality were found.

The results point to inequitable health outcomes in this COVID-19 patient population. The disparities highlighted in this study may be due to the lack of access to testing and treatment. In addition, this patient population was more likely to be essential workers.

In a similar poster presented at the meeting by Muntarin Karim of Loma Linda University Health System in California, researchers found that rheumatic patients with CoV-CRS in this rheumatology-managed cohort from Southern California were largely male, of Hispanic ethnicity, used public insurance, living in an area with higher poverty rate, or were incarcerated or residents at a healthcare facility. More than half of deaths in the cohort were observed in this particular population.

The study is based on a chart review of 150 patients who were treated at a university-based and county hospital.


ABSTRACT: 0006.Race/ethnicity Is Associated with Poor Health Outcomes Amongst Rheumatic Disease Patients Diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US: Data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Physician-Reported Registry.The annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. 11:00 AM, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.

ABSTRACT NUMBER: 0050. "Demographic Disparities in the Medically Underserved Populations of Southern California: A Rheumatology Cohort of Cytokine Release Syndrome Patients Due to COVID-19." Muntarin Karim. Friday, November 6, 2020