Aims: In the Danish population, we examined whether patients treated with thiopurines, methotrexate, systemic corticosteroids, anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α agents, anti-interleukin therapeutic agents, selective immunosuppressive agents and cyclosporine/tacrolimus had an increased risk of hospitalization for COVID- 19, compared to the background population. Methods: A nationwide cohort study including all people alive in Denmark on 1 March 2020. Exposed patients constituted those exposed to thiopurines (n = 5484), methotrexate (n = 17 977), systemic corticosteroids (n = 55 868), anti-TNF-α agents (n = 17 857), anti-interleukin therapeutic agents (n = 3744), selective immunosuppressive agents (n = 3026) and cyclosporine/tacrolimus (n = 1143) in a period of 12 months prior to 1 March 2020 (estimated time of outbreak in Denmark). We estimated the adjusted risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 for patients treated with the above-mentioned categories of medications, compared to the rest of the population. Results: The adjusted odds ratios of hospitalization in patients treated with corticosteroids and cyclosporine/tacrolimus were 1.64 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.35 to 2.00) and 4.75 (95% CI 1.96 to 11.49), respectively. The risks of hospitalization in patients treated with thiopurines, methotrexate, and anti-TNF-α agents, were 1.93 (95% CI 0.91 to 4.08), 0.74 (95% CI 0.43 to 1.28), 1.00 (95% CI 0.52 to 1.94), respectively. The number of outcomes in patients treated with anti-interleukin therapeutic agents and selective immunosuppressive agents was too small for analysis. Conclusion: Patients treated with systemic corticosteroids and cyclosporine/tacrolimus had a significantly increased risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19. Our study does not uncover whether the increased risk is related to the drug itself, the underlying condition for which the patient is treated or other factors.
- clinical epidemiology