Risk of severe covid-19 in patients with celiac disease: A population-based cohort study

Benjamin Lebwohl, Emma Larsson, Jonas Söderling, Bjorn Roelstraete, Joseph A. Murray, Peter H.R. Green, Jonas F. Ludvigsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Patients with celiac disease (CeD) are at increased risk of certain viral infections and of pneumococcal pneumonia, raising concerns that they may be susceptible to severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). We aimed to quantify the association between CeD and severe outcomes related to Covid-19. Methods: We performed a population-based cohort study, identifying individuals with CeD in Sweden, as defined by small intestinal villus atrophy diagnosed at all (n=28) Swedish pathology departments during the years spanning 1969–2017, and alive on February 1, 2020. We compared these patients to controls matched by sex, age, county, and calendar period. We performed Cox proportional hazards with follow-up through July 31, 2020, assessing risk of 1) hospital admission with a primary diagnosis of laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 (coprimary outcome); and 2) severe disease as defined by admission to intensive care unit and/or death attributed to Covid-19 (co-primary outcome). Results: Among patients with CeD (n=40,963) and controls (n=183,892), the risk of hospital admission for Covid-19 was 2.9 and 2.2 per 1000 person-years respectively. After adjusting for comorbidities, the risk of hospitalization for Covid-19 was not significantly increased in patients with CeD (HR 1.10; 95% CI 0.80–1.50), nor was the risk of severe Covid-19 increased (HR 0.97; 95% CI 0.59–1.59). Results were similarly null when we compared CeD patients to their non-CeD siblings with regard to these outcomes. Among all patients with CeD and controls hospitalized with a diagnosis of Covid-19 (n=58 and n=202, respectively), there was no significant difference in mortality (HR for CeD compared to controls 0.96; 95% CI 0.46–2.02). Conclusion: In this population-based study, CeD was not associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for Covid-19 or intensive care unit and/or death attributed to Covid-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Epidemiology
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 18 2021

Keywords

  • Celiac disease
  • Covid-19
  • Epidemiology
  • Infection
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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