Session Type: Abstract Session
Session Time: 5:00PM-5:50PM
Background/Purpose: Disparities have been reported during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients represent a unique group that is affected by clinical, treatment, demographic, and socioeconomic (SES) risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease. The Neighborhood Deprivation Index has been associated with non-communicable disease as well as communicable disease outcomes. We conducted this study to identify neighborhood SES factors influencing SLE COVID-19 outcomes.
Methods: Patients with SLE and COVID-19 (confirmed by RT-PCR testing), were identified through a longitudinal survey of an established NYU lupus cohort, query of NYU Langone Health and Bellevue Hospitals systems and referrals from rheumatologists at those institutions. All patients were age 18 or older and met SLE classification criteria or carried a clinical diagnosis of SLE. Baseline characteristics along with zip code neighborhood data including COVID-19 case rates and neighborhood characteristics were obtained using the Hopkins COVID database and the American Community Surveys (ACS 2014-2018) respectively. A principal component analysis was performed to identify contributory neighborhood characteristics. Then a logistic regression analysis identified predictors of testing positive for COVID-19 and COVID-19 hospitalization.
Results: A total of 59 SLE patients (41+ and 18-) were tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR. The patients were predominantly female, aged 46±16, and racially/ethnically diverse. Roughly 140 neighborhood data points were recorded and categorized as follows: population density, race and ethnicity, household type, household size, education level, employment type and status, income and poverty, transportation method, and insurance status. COVID-19 positive patients tended to live in neighborhoods with more single parent households, households with >4 residents, higher unemployment rate, higher high school dropout rate, more public transit use, and more employment in retail, construction, and personal care services. These variables were directly proportional to principal component 1 (PC1) and accounted for 88% of the variance in neighborhood characteristics. A logistic regression model identified that PC1 (OR= 1.3; 95% CI: 1.0-1.8) and taking immune suppressants (IS) (taking vs not taking OR= 2.1; 95% CI: 1.5 to 23.3) independently correlated with having a positive COVID-19 test when controlling for hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), glucocorticoids (GC), and previous lupus nephritis (LN). Only PC1 independently correlated with COVID-19 hospitalization (OR= 1.4; 95% CI: 1.1-1.9) upon controlling for taking IS, HCQ, GCs, and LN. PC1 associated with African American (AA) or Hispanic patient race/ethnicity (OR= 1.6, 95% CI: 1.2-2.2).
Conclusion: In addition to SLE disease, neighborhood characteristics and SES are important risk factors both for contracting COVID-19 and developing severe disease. Neighborhood deprivation may mediate the reported relationship between AA and Hispanic race/ethnicity and COVID-19. Given that a plurality of SLE patients are of AA and/or Hispanic backgrounds, care teams must formulate strategies to address socioeconomic stress in our patients.
Values are expressed as % (N) for categorical variables and mean ± standard deviation (SD) or median (interquartile range [IQR]) for continuous variables. Categorical variables compared using Fisher’s exact test; continuous variables compared using the two-sample T-test or Mann Whitney U Test. Immunosuppressants include non-biologic agents (azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, mycophenolic acid, sirolimus, tacrolimus) and biologic agents (anakinra, abatacept, belimumab, rituximab, tocilizumab).
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Blazer A, Fernandez-Ruiz R, Masson M, Haberman R, Castillo R, Scher J, Algasas H, Guttmann A, Carliucci P, Deonaraine K, Golpanian M, Robins K, Chang M, Belmont H, Buyon J, Saxena A, Izmirly P. Neighborhood Deprivation and Race/Ethnicity Affects COVID-19 Risk and Severity in SLE [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020; 72 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/neighborhood-deprivation-and-race-ethnicity-affects-covid-19-risk-and-severity-in-sle/. Accessed May 6, 2021.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/neighborhood-deprivation-and-race-ethnicity-affects-covid-19-risk-and-severity-in-sle/