Rheumatoid arthritis

First data released from global rheumatology COVID-19 registry

Initial data from the first 110 coronavirus cases to come out of the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance registry reveals that 35% have been hospitalised and 5% have died.

The data, released on 31 March via Twitter and updated on 3 April, reveals that  the predominant symptoms of COVID19 were: fever (79%), cough (77%), shortness of breath (50%), myalgia (45%), and sore throat (37%).

The initial data from 45 patients showed that 75% of patients had low rheumatic disease activity or were in remission at the time of infection.

Most coronavirus infections in people with rheumatic disease occurred in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who make up 36% of cases followed by SLE (17%) and PsA (17%).

“RA is a very common disease so I’m not surprised that that’s what we’re seeing here too in the registry data,” says steering committee Chair of the Alliance Associate Professor Philip Robinson, rheumatologist at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, in an interview with the limbic.

Prior to COVID-19 infection most patients (63%) were on conventional synthetic DMARDs , almost half on biologics (45%) and a quarter (25%) on glucocorticoids.

While 36% of patients had no comorbidities, 28% of patients were hypertensive, 20% had lung disease, 11% had cardiovascular disease, 8% had morbid obesity  and 8% had diabetes.

“These are the sorts of standard rheumatology patients and treatments that we see in clinic so, from that point of view, it’s encouraging that we’re not getting exotic groups of patients,” notes Professor Robinson.

According to the initial registry data 28% of patents have resolved symptoms. Meanwhile ARDS was reported in 6%, sepsis in 4% and 2% had concomitant or secondary infection.

Interestingly, 22/100 patients were  using hydroxychloroquine. Of these, 7 have resolved COVID-19 infection, 12 have unresolved infection, 3 unknown. Eight of the HCQ patients have been hospitalised, of whom four needed some type of supplemental oxygen or non-invasive/invasive ventilation.  There was one death. No medical intervention was reported for those not hospitalised.

To access the registry click here. 

For more about The COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance watch:



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