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Among 37,857 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), 36 developed incident COVID-19 during the study period. Of the 2391 IBD patients who were on thiopurines on January 1, 2020, 2 had incident COVID-19. Among the 4920 patients who were on anti-TNF, 3 patients developed COVID-19. In adjusted logistic regression model, neither thiopurines (OR, 0.962; P = .9577) nor anti-TNF (OR, 0.581; P = .3774) was associated with a significant increased risk of COVID-19.
Using a large nationwide VA database, this study found that anti-TNF medications and thiopurines were not associated with an increased risk of developing COVID-19 infection.
– Omar Khan, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
The recent outbreak of novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a pandemic and is threatening global health.1 The highest number of COVID-19 confirmed cases were reported in the United States, with 1.47 million confirmed cases and 89,272 deaths as of 05/19/2020.2 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is primarily treated by immunosuppressive medications which can put patients at risk of developing infectious complications including viral infections.3 Therefore, it is important to evaluate the risk factors of COVID-19 in the IBD population, especially the impact of immunosuppression on the incidence. There are limited data available in the current literature on this topic. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of Anti-TNF and thiopurines on the development of COVID-19 in a nationwide cohort of IBD patients in the Veterans’ Affairs Healthcare System (VAHS). The VAHS is the largest integrated healthcare system in the US, serving up to 9 million Veterans each year.