Gout, rheumatoid arthritis and the risk of death from COVID-19: an analysis of the UK Biobank

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Objectives

    To assess whether gout and / or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are risk factors for coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) diagnosis. To assess whether gout and / or RA are risk factors for death with COVID-19.

    Methods

    We used data from the UK Biobank. Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression was employed in the following analyses: Analysis A, to test for association between gout or RA and COVID-19 diagnosis (n=473,139); Analysis B, to test for association between gout or RA and death with COVID-19 in a case-control cohort of people who died or survived with COVID-19 (n=2,059); Analysis C, to test for association with gout or RA and death with COVID-19 in the entire UK Biobank cohort (n=473,139)

    Results

    RA, but not gout, associated with COVID-19 diagnosis in analysis A. Neither RA nor gout associated with risk of death in the COVID-19-diagnosed group in analysis B. However RA associated with risk of death related to COVID-19 using the UK Biobank cohort in analysis C independent of comorbidities and other measured risk factors (OR=1.9 [95% CI 1.2 ; 3.0]). Gout was not associated with death related to COVID-19 in the same UK Biobank analysis (OR=1.2 [95% CI 0.8 ; 1.7]).

    Conclusion

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a risk factor for death with COVID-19 using the UK Biobank cohort. These findings require replication in larger data sets that also allow inclusion of a wider range of factors.

    Key messages

    Information on the risk of death from COVID-19 for people with gout and rheumatoid arthritis is scarce. In an analysis of the UK Biobank there is an increased risk of death related to COVID-19 for people with rheumatoid arthritis independent of included co-morbidities, but not gout. The findings need to be replicated in other datasets where the influence of therapies for rheumatoid arthritis can be tested.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 16866795
  • Author List

  • Topless R; Phipps-Green A; Leask M; Dalbeth N; Stamp L; Robinson P; Merriman T