Milena Gianfrancesco, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor. Education Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine University of California, San Francisco

Racial and Ethnic Variability in COVID-19 Outcomes Among Patients with Rheumatic Diseases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Milena Gianfrancesco, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor. Education Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Gianfrancesco

Milena Gianfrancesco, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor. Education
Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This study utilized data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Provider Survey, which launched on March 25th. To date, it has collected information on over 6,000 patients with rheumatic disease diagnosed with COVID-19 from over 40 countries worldwide. As COVID-19 spread across the world in the spring, and especially within the United States, it became clear that the disease was impacting certain groups more than others. Growing attention and research began to illustrate the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 among racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. We know that racial and ethnic minorities experience a higher burden of rheumatic disease risk and severity; therefore, our group was interested in examining whether the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 also affected this susceptible population.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We found that Black, Latinx and Asian patients with rheumatic disease diagnosed with COVID-19 had approximately 2 to 3 times higher odds of hospitalization compared to white patients. Among hospitalized patients, Latinx patients with rheumatic disease and COVID-19 had 3 times higher odds of requiring ventilatory support. In contrast, we found no differences in COVID-19 mortality by race/ethnicity among patients with rheumatic disease. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Bringing these results to light will hopefully lead to actionable changes within the rheumatology community, and beyond. We need to be sure that patients who are at high risk of severe outcomes have access to testing, treatment, and a vaccine. Rheumatology providers can and should be advocates for their patients and a trusted ally. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: More research on vulnerable populations with rheumatic disease is needed, as are studies examining drivers of health disparities. Further, studies examining interventions to reduce disparities will help shed light on to ways we can improve the health of all patients diagnosed with rheumatic disease, especially those that experience inequitable outcomes. 

Citation:

Gianfrancesco, M.A., Leykina, L.A., Izadi, Z., Taylor, T., Sparks, J.A., Harrison, C., Trupin, L., Rush, S., Schmajuk, G., Katz, P., Jacobsohn, L., Hsu, T.Y., D’Silva, K.M., Serling‐Boyd, N., Wallwork, R., Todd, D.J., Bhana, S., Costello, W., Grainger, R., Hausmann, J.S., Liew, J.W., Sirotich, E., Sufka, P., Wallace, Z.S., Machado, P.M., Robinson, P.C., Yazdany, J. and (2020), Race/ethnicity association with COVID‐19 outcomes in rheumatic disease: Data from the COVID‐19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Physician Registry. Arthritis Rheumatol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1002/art.41567

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Last Modified: Nov 7, 2020 @ 1:05 am

 

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