New Research Sheds Light on Potential Risk Factors for Long-Haul COVID-19 in Rheumatic Disease Patients
CreakyJoints reports on HSS study findings presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2021 annual meeting by rheumatologists and study authors Medha Barbhaiya, MD, MPH and Lisa A. Mandl, MD, MPH.
The study investigated potential risk factors for long-haul COVID-19 in rheumatology patients.
Dr. Barbhaiya said, “We were surprised to see that we had a substantial group of patients who were long-haulers. We do not yet know the prevalence of long haul COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic diseases or the extent of symptom persistence, but we hope that future studies, including long-term follow-up of our cohort, will provide some insight into these questions.”
Dr. Mandl explained, “It’s too early to say if there’s a certain type of symptom or grouping of symptoms that increases the risk of being a long-hauler, but it’s a question the medical field is grappling with to see if we can identify who is at risk of being a long-hauler in the future.”
“Long-haul COVID is potentially a real problem in our patients. The underlying risk factors still need to be determined, but rheumatologists recognize how important it is to distinguish long COVID symptoms from those of an underlying rheumatic disease. We’re working on longitudinal analyses to identify underlying risk factors moving forward,” noted Dr. Barbhaiya.