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Investigators have found that, like the general population, baseline comorbidities were key risk factors for COVID-19 complications in Sjögren’s patients. Utilizing information from the Big Data Sjögren Registry, investigators identified 51 Sjögren’s patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis, which, compared to the full registry, equated to a COVID-19 infection frequency of 0.62% (95% CI 0.44, 0.80). In this group, common symptoms displayed included fever (82%), cough (57%), dyspnea (39%), fatigue/myalgias (27%) and diarrhea (24%). Common laboratory abnormalities included raised lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (88%), CRP (81%) and D-dimer (82%) values, and lymphopenia (70%).

Interestingly, the ability to manage the illness while at home versus hospitalization was nearly split evenly at 51% and 49%, respectively. When comparing these two groups, those who were hospitalized were more likely to have abnormal lymphopenia (aOR 21.22, 95% CI 2.39, 524.09). Of those hospitalized, five were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and four died.

Notably, patients with comorbidities were both older (aOR 1.05, 95% CI 1.00, 1.11) and at a six times greater risk for hospitalization (aOR 6.01, 95% CI 1.72, 23.51) when compared to those without comorbidities.

The authors believe this to be the first study characterizing and evaluating the outcomes of COVID-19 in Sjögren’s patients. This study utilized patient data gathered between March and June, 2020.

Brito-Zerón P, Melchor S, Seror R, et al. SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with primary Sjögren syndrome: characterization and outcomes of 51 patients.
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2020 Dec 14:keaa748. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keaa748. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33316070.