Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Are Not at Increased Risk of COVID-19: A Large Multinational Cohort Study

Mariangela Allocca, María Chaparro, Haidee Aleman Gonzalez, Marta Maia Bosca-Watts, Carolina Palmela, Ferdinando D'Amico, Eirini Zacharopoulou, Uri Kopylov, Pierre Ellul, Giorgos Bamias, Vassilios Ntelis, Adi Lahat, Gerassimos J Mantzaris, Ioannis Papaconstantinou, Konstantinos Katsanos, Yulia Uspenskaya, Dimitrios Christodoulou, Shomron Ben Horin, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, Joanna TorresShaji Sebastian, Javier P Gisbert, Silvio Danese, Gionata Fiorino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact of COVID-19 on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients under pharmacological immunosuppression is still not clearly understood. We investigated the incidence of COVID-19 and the impact of immunosuppression and containment measures on the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a large IBD cohort, from a multicenter cohort from 21st of February to 30th of June, 2020. Ninety-seven patients with IBD (43 UC, 53 CD, one unclassified IBD) and concomitant COVID-19 over a total of 23,879 patients with IBD were enrolled in the study. The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with IBD vs. the general population was 0.406% and 0.402% cases, respectively. Twenty-three patients (24%) were hospitalized, 21 (22%) had pneumonia, four (4%) were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, and one patient died. Lethality in our cohort was 1% compared to 9% in the general population. At multivariable analysis, age > 65 years was associated with increased risk of pneumonia and hospitalization (OR 11.6, 95% CI 2.18-62.60; OR 5.1, 95% CI 1.10-23.86, respectively), treatment with corticosteroids increased the risk of hospitalization (OR 7.6, 95% CI 1.48-40.05), whereas monoclonal antibodies were associated with reduced risk of pneumonia and hospitalization (OR 0.1, 95% CI 0.04-0.52; OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.10-0.90, respectively). The risk of COVID-19 in patients with IBD is similar to the general population. National lockdown was effective in preventing infection in our cohort. Advanced age and treatment with corticosteroids impacted negatively on the outcome of COVID-19, whereas monoclonal antibodies did not seem to have a detrimental effect.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2020

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