Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus throughout one year

On behalf of SMILE, Milan Lupus Consortium, Giuseppe A. Ramirez, Lorenza M. Argolini, Chiara Bellocchi, Luca Moroni, Emanuel Della-Torre, Nicola Farina, Roberto F. Caporali, Lorenzo Beretta, Maria Gerosa, Enrica P. Bozzolo, Lorenzo Dagna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to the care of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the long-term. By crossing population data with the results of a web-based survey focused on the timeframes January–April and May–December 2020, we found that among 334/518 responders, 28 had COVID-19 in 2020. Seventeen cases occurred in May–December, in parallel with trends in the general population and loosening of containment policy strength. Age > 40 years (p = 0.026), prednisone escalation (p = 0.008) and infected relatives (p < 0.001) were most significantly associated with COVID-19. Weaker associations were found with asthma, lymphadenopathy and azathioprine or cyclosporine treatment. Only 31% of patients with infected relatives developed COVID-19. Healthcare service disruptions were not associated with rising hospitalisations. Vaccination prospects were generally welcomed. Our data suggest that COVID-19 has a moderate impact on patients with SLE, which might be significantly modulated by public health policies, including vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108845
JournalClinical Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Containment
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Lockdown
  • Prednisone
  • Public health
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Treatment
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus throughout one year'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this