Welcome to the ACR Action Center on ReachMD. On this episode, we’re joined by Dr. Jinoos Yazdany, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and the Alice Betts Endowed Professor of Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Yazdany is here to give us a brief overview of her presentation at the 2021 American College of Rheumatology Convergence that focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on patients with rheumatic diseases. Here’s Dr. Yazdany now.
So in my upcoming presentation at this year’s ACR Convergence meeting, I will be revealing some of the data that we’ve gathered over the last year and a half about COVID-19 outcomes in people with rheumatic diseases. I’ll review some of the studies that have helped us understand the risk of initial infection with SARS-CoV-2 in people with rheumatologic conditions. And then we’ll go through all of the data that’s been collected by the Global Rheumatology Alliance, and other researchers around the world that have tried to identify which patients are actually at higher risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19, like hospitalization and mortality.
Some of the key things that I would like my colleagues to take away from this presentation are, first, just to recognize which of our patients with rheumatic disease are at higher risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19. We’ll go through some of the data that show that age and comorbidities are incredibly important in determining how people do. And then we’ll go through specific rheumatologic drug categories, and I will review the data about rituximab, about immunosuppressants, about JAK inhibitors and glucocorticoids, all of which have been associated with more severe outcomes. In addition, I will touch on a late-breaking abstract that some of my colleagues will present about breakthrough infections in people with rheumatologic disease who have been fully vaccinated. Obviously, it’s a group of patients that, you know, we need to continue to protect. And then in terms of, really, a call to action, you know, now that we know which patients are at higher risk, I think we can use all of the tools in our arsenal to make sure that they are protected through the pandemic, and that includes vaccinations and booster vaccinations, as well as the use of monoclonal antibody therapy for post-exposure prophylaxis, and early treatment in people that are at high risk, and we even have an oral antiviral drug on the horizon. So, actually really good news for patients, that we have ways to protect even the people who have decreased vaccine responses.
That was Dr. Jinoos Yazdany talking about her presentation at this year’s American College of Rheumatology Convergence focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on patients with rheumatic diseases. To access this and other episodes in our series, visit reachmd.com/ACR, where you can Be Part of the Knowledge. Thanks for listening.