INTRODUCTION: Whether biologic therapies enhance the risk of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) or affect the disease outcome in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis remains to be ascertained.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to investigate the incidence of hospitalization and death for COVID-19 in a large sample of patients with plaque psoriasis receiving biologic therapies compared with the general population.
METHODS: This is a retrospective multicenter cohort study including patients with chronic plaque psoriasis (n = 6501) being treated with biologic therapy and regularly followed up at the divisions of dermatology of several main hospitals in the Northern Italian cities of Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Modena, Bologna, Piacenza, Turin, and Milan. Incidence rates of hospitalization and death per 10,000 person-months with exact mid-p 95% CIs and standardized incidence ratios were estimated in the patients with psoriasis and compared with those in the general population in the same geographic areas.
RESULTS: The incidence rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 was 11.7 (95% CI, 7.2-18.1) per 10,000 person-months in patients with psoriasis and 14.4 (95% CI, 14.3-14.5) in the general population; the incidence rate of death from COVID-19 was 1.3 (95% CI, 0.2-4.3) and 4.7 (95% CI, 4.6-4.7) in patients with psoriasis and the general population, respectively. The standardized incidence ratio of hospitalization and death in patients with psoriasis compared with those in the general population was 0.94 (95% CI, 0.57-1.45; P = .82) and 0.42 (95% CI, 0.07-1.38; P = .19), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data did not show any adverse impact of biologics on COVID-19 outcome in patients with psoriasis. We would not advise biologic discontinuation in patients on treatment since more than 6 months and not infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 to prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19.