CHICAGO, May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- COVID-19 has changed our world. As of April 27, 2020, the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center reported over 3 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 979,077 in the United States. There are also about 200,000 individuals with sarcoidosis, a rare and chronic respiratory illness, in the U.S.. A group of researchers are actively seeking more information about how COVID-19 may impact the sarcoidosis community.
The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research and University of Cincinnati launched a questionnaire for sarcoidosis patients three weeks ago. They seek to understand whether sarcoidosis patients are more likely to contract COVID-19, if they have worse outcomes than otherwise healthy individuals, and if certain medications or demographic factors affect the risks of COVID-19 in sarcoidosis patients.
To date, over 1600 sarcoidosis patients have responded to the survey. Of these, only 31 patients – less than 2%– reported having COVID-19. Most were able to be treated at home and none required mechanical ventilation. More preliminary information and a link to the survey can be found at www.stopsarcoidosis.org/covid-19. The study is ongoing and will include a follow up questionnaire in July.
Dr. Robert Baughman, principal investigator of the study, commented: "When COVID-19 began, there was controversy about the additional risks of sarcoidosis and treatments. This information, although only preliminary, found the rate of infection only slightly higher than the national average. Sarcoidosis patients with COVID-19 mostly did well, which is what we are seeing for many other patients." Dr. Elyse Lower, co-director of the University of Cincinnati Sarcoidosis Center added, "Thank you FSR for working on getting this information together in a timely manner."
Dr. Marc Judson of Albany Medical Center and co-investigator added, "Although more sarcoidosis patients need to participate in this survey to reach definite conclusions, these preliminary results are reassuring. These data show no obvious signal of a particularly poor outcome from COVID-19 infection in sarcoidosis patients. Furthermore, these preliminary results do not suggest steroids or other immunosuppressive medications are placing sarcoidosis patient at greater risk of poor outcome. This has been an important undertaking by the FSR."
About the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research
The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for this disease and to improving care for sarcoidosis patients. Since its establishment in 2000, FSR has fostered over $5 million in sarcoidosis-specific research efforts. For more information about FSR visit: stopsarcoidosis.org
Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research
SOURCE Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research