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Rheumatol Adv Pract . Characteristics of long COVID in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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  • Rheumatol Adv Pract . Characteristics of long COVID in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Rheumatol Adv Pract


    . 2024 Mar 2;8(2):rkae027.
    doi: 10.1093/rap/rkae027. eCollection 2024. Characteristics of long COVID in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Der-Yuan Chen 1 2 3 , Po-I Huang 4 , Kuo-Tung Tang 5 6 7



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Objectives: Numerous cases of long coronavirus disease (long COVID) have been reported in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs). Despite the reviews on clinical manifestations of long COVID in the general population, systematic reviews on ARD patients are scarce. Herein, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on the prevalence and characteristics of long COVID in ARD patients.
    Methods: We searched the literature in PubMed and Embase as of 27 December 2022. Cohort, cross-sectional and case-control studies relevant to long COVID in ARD patients were collected. Stratification based on the severity of COVID infection and subtypes of rheumatic diseases [systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease (SARD) vs non-autoimmune rheumatic disease (NARD)] was also undertaken. A random-effects model was used in the meta-analysis.
    Results: A total of 15 relevant studies were identified from the literature. The prevalence of long COVID was 56% (95% CI 34, 76) in 2995 patients. Hospitalized COVID patients had a higher proportion of long COVID than non-hospitalized patients. The prevalence of long COVID was similar between SARD and NARD patients. In terms of symptoms, fatigue, arthralgia and pain were commonly reported in long COVID patients with ARDs.
    Conclusion: The characteristics of long COVID in ARD patients are generally similar to those in the general population despite a higher prevalence and a higher proportion of arthralgia and pain.

    Keywords: fibromyalgia; long COVID; rheumatic disease; systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease.

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