COVID-19 outcomes improved for SARDs sufferers by Omicron wave

In a current examine posted to the medRxiv* pre-print server, researchers investigated coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) incidence and severity amongst systemic autoimmune rheumatic illnesses (SARDs) sufferers in Massachusetts, United States (US), between March 1, 2020, and January 31, 2022.

Study: Temporal trends in COVID-19 outcomes among patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases: From the first wave to Omicron. Image Credit: Adao / ShutterstockResearch: Temporal trends in COVID-19 outcomes among patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases: From the first wave to Omicron. Picture Credit score: Adao / Shutterstock


Some individuals with SARDs are at excessive threat of progressing to extreme COVID-19, leading to subsequent hospitalization and dying. SARD sufferers endure from underlying medical circumstances, together with suppressed immunity and end-organ injury contributing to poor immune responses to pure extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) an infection and vaccination.

Earlier research investigated temporal tendencies in COVID-19 outcomes amongst SARD sufferers earlier than the Omicron wave. For example, a Swedish examine confirmed sufferers with inflammatory joint illnesses had worse COVID-19 scientific outcomes than the overall inhabitants early within the pandemic.

Nevertheless, the authors hypothesized that COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and coverings might have contributed to improved temporal COVID-19 outcomes amongst individuals with SARDs throughout the latest Omicron wave within the US. In order that they investigated whether or not scientific COVID-19 outcomes have improved in current intervals for sufferers with SARDs.

In regards to the examine

Within the current examine, researchers computed weekly counts of complete COVID-19 circumstances, together with extreme circumstances, to match them by calendar interval and vaccination standing throughout five-time frames spanning from the primary an infection wave by the Omicron wave. They used logistic regression to estimate the percentages ratio (ORs) for extreme COVID-19 for every interval in comparison with the sooner reference interval.

The researchers additionally explored different notable tendencies amongst sufferers with SARDs through the ongoing pandemic. However, extra importantly, they assessed whether or not every case of dying amongst SARD sufferers was resulting from underlying immunosuppression or different comorbidities.

Research findings

The authors recognized 1449 SARD sufferers who suffered from COVID-19, of which 399 circumstances had been extreme. The imply age of the sufferers was 58.4 years, 75.2% had been feminine, and 33.9% additionally suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. Over time, the proportion of extreme COVID-19 outcomes declined. The adjusted ORs of extreme COVID-19 within the Omicron wave was 0.29; nonetheless, absolutely the variety of extreme COVID-19 circumstances through the peak of the Omicron variant wave was just like the peaks of different waves.

Accordingly, 45.6% of circumstances displayed severity between March 1 and June 30, 2020, however solely 14.7% had been extreme between December 17, 2021, and January 31, 2022. The case severity was larger amongst unvaccinated SARDs sufferers in comparison with unvaccinated sufferers (78.4% vs. 59.5%). Notably, some sufferers with SARDs had been hospitalized or died through the Omicron wave. These sufferers tended to produce other comorbidities (e.g., interstitial lung illness, malignant tumors). These findings spotlight the necessity for ongoing threat mitigating methods for a lot of SARDs sufferers which may be associated to SARD or its remedy.

Relating to aside from temporal tendencies, the authors famous a lower within the proportion of SARDs sufferers with COVID-19 who recognized themselves as Black or Hispanic. The affected person’s age additionally decreased through the examine interval. A number of components, together with adjustments in entry to diagnostics and coverings, and vaccination, may have contributed to those tendencies. The shift in diagnostics, e.g., diagnosing infections utilizing speedy antigen checks at house, will make it more and more tedious to seize delicate SARS-CoV-2 infections for epidemiologic research in SARD sufferers. Extra importantly, leveraging digital well being report information will stay necessary in capturing such tendencies amongst these sufferers in future research.


The examine demonstrated a steep decline in extreme COVID-19 circumstances amongst SARD sufferers from early within the pandemic to current intervals, together with the Omicron wave. These temporal enhancements in hostile COVID-19 scientific outcomes had been probably multifactorial. Advances in COVID-19 testing, prevention and remedy methods probably improved hostile scientific outcomes amongst SARD sufferers. Moreover, improved hospital capability, a lower within the variety of susceptible people, and decreased virulence of SARS-CoV-2 variants additional improved temporal outcomes in SARD sufferers.

Apparently, though vaccination benefitted many SARD sufferers with immunosuppressants, it’s probably that they might nonetheless be susceptible to extreme COVID-19. Future research ought to develop the observations of the current examine to future SARS-CoV-2 variants and think about waning immunity amongst SARD sufferers following vaccination or pure an infection. Pre-exposure prophylaxis with tixagevimab/cilgavimab, a monoclonal antibody in opposition to SARS-CoV-2, represents an necessary technique for safeguarding high-risk sufferers. Due to this fact, future research also needs to consider the real-world effectiveness of tixagevimab/cilgavimab in sufferers with SARD.

*Necessary discover

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific stories that aren’t peer-reviewed and, subsequently, shouldn’t be considered conclusive, information scientific follow/health-related conduct, or handled as established info.

Journal reference:
  • Temporal tendencies in COVID-19 outcomes amongst sufferers with systemic autoimmune rheumatic illnesses: From the primary wave to Omicron, Yumeko Kawano, Naomi J. Patel, Xiaosong Wang, Claire E. Cook dinner, Kathleen M.M. Vanni, Emily N. Kowalski, Emily P. Banasiak, Grace Qian, Michael DiIorio, Tiffany Y.-T. Hsu, Michael E. Weinblatt, Derrick J. Todd, Zachary S. Wallace, Jeffrey A. Sparks, medRxiv pre-print 2022, DOI:,



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