Severity of COVID-19 in Patients with Dermatomyositis: A Single Center, Retrospective Observational Cohort Study

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Jessica Johnson
Amy Nowacki
Jatin Narang
Sarah Young
Anthony P. Fernandez


COVID-19, dermatomyositis


Although dermatomyositis (DM) patients have been included in studies evaluating for COVID-19 risk and severity in large cohorts of chronic immune mediated disease patients, there have been few studies looking specifically at cohorts of DM patients. We performed a single-center, retrospective cohort study of DM patients seen at the Cleveland Clinic who were diagnosed with COVID-19 via PCR test between March 2020 – July 2021.  To assess for risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease course in the DM patient population, we utilized several characteristics known to impact COVID-19 disease course including age, BMI, and medications at time of diagnosis. We additionally included characteristics unique to the DM patient population including DM subtype and autoantibody status.  Our results showed that risk factors for COVID-19 hospitalization in our DM cohort include age, BMI, and systemic medication use at time of COVID-19 infection.  Despite our small sample size, our study is one of the first to elucidate characteristics important for COVID-19 disease course in DM specifically, rather than having it grouped alongside other disease processes. Awareness of this risk is important for clinicians caring for DM patients in order to optimize their care and protect them from a severe COVID-19 disease course.


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