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Outcomes of COVID-19 in Patients with Primary Systemic Vasculitis or Polymyalgia Rheumatica

February 4, 2022

In a recent study published in Lancet Rheumatology, investigators — including UPMC’s Sebastian Sattui, MD, MS — aimed to investigate factors associated with COVID-19 outcomes in patients with primary systemic vasculitis or polymyalgia rheumatica. 

Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who also had a history of primary systemic vasculitis or polymyalgia rheumatica using data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance registries

To determine the severity of COVID-19 outcomes, researchers used an ordinal scale comprising of four outcomes: no hospitalization; hospitalization without supplemental oxygen; hospitalization with any supplemental oxygen or ventilation; or death. 

1202 eligible patients were identified in the registry with 61.0% women and 39.0% men and a mean age of 63.8 years. Of the 1020 patients with outcome data, 50.2% were not hospitalized; 11.2% were hospitalized without supplemental oxygen; 23.4% were hospitalized with supplemental oxygen or ventilation; and 15.2% died. 

Researchers observed that there were higher odds of poor outcomes in patients who were older, were male, had more comorbidities, were taking 10 mg/day or more of prednisolone, or had severe disease activity. Risk factors varied among disease subtypes. 

Among patients with primary systemic vasculitis and polymyalgia rheumatica, severe COVID-19 outcomes were associated with age, sex, and number of comorbidities, as well as treatments that included use of high-dose glucocorticoids.


Sattui SE, Conway R, Putman MS, Seet AM, Gianfrancesco MA, Beins K, Hill C, Liew D, Mackie SL, Mehta P, Neill L, Gomez G, Salinas MIH, Maldonado FN, Mariz HA, de Sousa Studart SA, Araujo NC, Knight A, Rozza D, Quartuccio L, Samson M, Bally S, Maria AT, Chazerain P, Hasseli R, Müller-Ladner U, Hoyer BF, Voll R, Torres RP, Luis M, Ribeirio SLE, Al-Emadi S, Sparks JA, Hsu TY, D'Silva KM, Patel NJ, Wise L, Gilbert E, Almada MV, Duarte-García A, Ugarte-Gil M, Jacobsohn L, Izadi Z, Strangfeld A, Mateus EF, Hyrich KL, Gossec L, Carmona L, Lawson-Tovey S, Kearsley-Fleet L, Schaefer M, Sirotich E, Hausmann JS, Sufka P, Bhana S, Liew JW, Grainger R, Machado PM, Wallace ZS, Yazdany J, Robinson PC; Global Rheumatology Alliance. Outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with primary systemic vasculitis or polymyalgia rheumatica from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance physician registry: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet Rheumatol. 2021 Dec;3(12):e855-e864. doi: 10.1016/S2665-9913(21)00316-7. Epub 2021 Nov 5. PMID: 34778843; PMCID: PMC8570701.