Leveraging the United States Epicenter to Provide Insights on COVID-19 in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

the NYU WARCOV Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to analyze associations of comorbidities and medications on infection outcomes. Methods: Patients with SLE and reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction–confirmed COVID-19 were identified through an established New York University lupus cohort, query of 2 hospital systems, and referrals from rheumatologists. Data were prospectively collected via a web-based questionnaire and review of medical records. Data on baseline characteristics were obtained for all patients with COVID-19 to analyze risk factors for hospitalization. Data were also collected on asymptomatic patients and those with COVID-19–like symptoms who tested negative or were not tested. Statistical analyses were limited to confirmed COVID-19–positive patients. Results: A total of 226 SLE patients were included: 41 with confirmed COVID-19, 19 who tested negative for COVID-19, 42 with COVID-19–like symptoms who did not get tested, and 124 who remained asymptomatic without testing. Of the SLE patients with confirmed COVID-19, hospitalization was required in 24 (59%) and intensive care unit–level of care in 4, and 4 died. Hospitalized patients tended to be older, nonwhite, Hispanic, have higher body mas index (BMI), history of nephritis, and at least 1 comorbidity. An exploratory (due to limited sample size) logistic regression analysis identified race, presence of at least 1 comorbidity, and BMI as independent predictors of hospitalization. Conclusion: In general, the variables predictive of hospitalization in our SLE patients were similar to those identified in the general population. Further studies are needed to understand additional risk factors for poor COVID-19 outcomes in patients with SLE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1971-1980
Number of pages10
JournalArthritis and Rheumatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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