Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 Infection among Children and Young People with Pre-existing Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases.

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Objectives: Some adults with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) are at increased risk of COVID-19-related death. Excluding post-COVID-19 multisystem inflammatory syndrome of children, children and young people (CYP) are overall less prone to severe COVID-19 and most experience a mild or asymptomatic course. However, it is unknown if CYP with RMDs are more likely to have more severe COVID-19. This analysis aims to describe outcomes among CYP with underlying RMDs with COVID-19.

Methods: Using the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) COVID-19 Registry, the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) Registry, and the CARRA-sponsored COVID-19 Global Paediatric Rheumatology Database (COVID-19 GPRD), we obtained data on CYP with RMDs who reported SARS-CoV-2 infection (presumptive or confirmed). Patient characteristics and illness severity were described, and factors associated with COVID-19 hospitalisation were investigated.

Results: 607 CYP with RMDs <19 years-old from 25 different countries with SARS-CoV-2 infection were included, the majority with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA; N=378; 62%). Forty-three (7%) patients were hospitalised; three of these patients died. Compared with JIA, diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus, mixed connective tissue disease, vasculitis, or other RMD (OR 4.3; 95%CI 1.7, 11) or auto-inflammatory syndrome (OR 3.0; 95%CI 1.1, 8.6) was associated with hospitalisation, as was obesity (OR 4.0; 95%CI 1.3, 12).

Conclusions: This is the most significant investigation to date of COVID-19 in CYP with RMDs. It is important to note that the majority of CYP were not hospitalised, although those with severe systemic RMDs and obesity were more likely to be hospitalised.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the rheumatic diseases
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2022


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