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COVID-19 Infections are More Severe in Patients with Dermatomyositis

COVID-19 infections are more severe in patients with dermatomyositis.”
— Anthony P. Fernandez
CLEVLAND, OH, UNITED STATES, November 20, 2022 / -- Many studies have shown that infection with Sars-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be more severe in patients that have other medical conditions. These conditions often include common diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart failure. However, many other diseases can also contribute to a more severe course of COVID-19. Are COVID-19 infections more severe in patients with a diagnosis of dermatomyositis, a rare disease that can cause significant muscle weakness and skin rashes?

Fernandez and his co-authors identified 27 patients that have dermatomyositis and were diagnosed with COVID-19 at Cleveland Clinic from March 2020 – July 2021 and found that the answer to the question was yes. The authors found that COVID-19 infection is more severe in patients with dermatomyositis than in the general population. One person required ICU care and one person died from the COVID-19 infection. Only one person experienced worsening of their dermatomyositis symptoms after their COVID-19 infection.

Many patients with dermatomyositis take drugs that suppress the immune system as part of their treatment that could also influence the outcomes of treatment. For these reasons, it is important for healthcare providers to be aware of the medications these patients are taking, and how it will affect their care.

SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine® is a peer-reviewed online medical journal that is the official journal of The National Society for Cutaneous Medicine. The mission of SKIN is to provide an enhanced and accelerated route to disseminate new dermatologic knowledge for all aspects of cutaneous disease.
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Anthony P. Fernandez
Cleveland Clinic Department of Dermatology
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