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Autoimmune, Autoinflammatory Connective Tissue Disorders Increased After COVID-19

Risks associated with COVID-19 severity

By Elana Gotkine (HealthDay News) | October 10, 2023

TUESDAY, Oct. 10, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk for autoimmune and autoinflammatory connective tissue disorders, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in JAMA Network Open.

Sung Ha Lim, M.D., from the Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine in South Korea, and colleagues examined the incidences and risks for autoimmune and autoinflammatory connective tissue disorders after COVID-19 in a retrospective population-based study. The analyses included 354,527 individuals with COVID-19 and 6,134,940 controls.

The researchers found that the COVID-19 group had significantly increased risks for alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis, Crohn disease, and sarcoidosis (adjusted hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 1.12 [1.05 to 1.19], 1.74 [1.39 to 2.17], 2.76 [1.64 to 4.65], 1.68 [1.31 to 2.15], and 1.59 [1.00 to 2.52], respectively). The severity of COVID-19 was associated with the risks for alopecia totalis, psoriasis, vitiligo, vasculitis, Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, adult-onset Still disease, Sjögren syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, and sarcoidosis.

"Our study comprehensively investigated the risks of autoimmune and autoinflammatory connective tissue disorders in patients with COVID-19 compared with controls, highlighting these disorders as potential post-COVID-19 sequelae," the authors write. "Long-term management of patients with COVID-19 should include evaluation of subsequent development of autoimmune and autoinflammatory connective tissue disorders."

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