Effect of hydroxychloroquine pre-exposure on infection with SARS-CoV-2 in rheumatic disease patients: a population-based cohort study
Clinical Microbiology and Infection, doi:10.1016/j.cmi.2020.12.003
Objectives: Early in vitro studies have suggested that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a potentially useful drug against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. This study was conducted to determine whether HCQ had a preventive effect on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in rheumatic disease patients who were taking HCQ. Methods: We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study using the records of the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment (HIRA) claim records. The clinical data of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 were investigated. We compared the attack rate of COVID-19 between those who underwent HCQ therapy within 14 days before the test for SARS-CoV-2 (HCQ users) and HCQ non-users. Data were analysed using logistic regression models, c 2 , and Student's t-tests. Results: As of 15th May 2020, 2066 patients with RA or SLE were tested for COVID-19. Among them, 31.4% (649/2066) were treated with HCQ. Most HCQ users (93.7%, 608/649) were taking 200e400 mg/ day recommended for the treatment of rheumatic diseases. The attack rate of COVID-19 in the HCQ users (2.3%, 15/649) did not differ from that in the HCQ non-users (2.2%, 31/1417) (p 0.86). Conclusions: HCQ prophylactic use at a usual dose did not prevent COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic disease.
Author contributions Conceptualization: SYJ, MCK, SHC, JWC and STC. Methodology and software: SYJ and MSK. Validation: SYJ, SHC and STC. Formal analysis: SYJ, SHC and STC. Investigation: SYJ, MSK, SHC and STC. Data curation: SYJ and MSK. Writingdoriginal draft: SYJ, SHC and STC. Writingdreview and editing: SYJ, MSK, MCK, SHC, JWC and STC. Visualization: SYJ, SHC and STC. Project administration: SYJ, MCK, JWC and STC.
Transparency declaration The authors declare that there are no competing interests. Seong-Ho Choi was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korea Government (Ministry of Science and ICT) (2019R1C1C1006417). Sang Tae Choi was supported by a grant from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Republic of Korea (2018R1D1A1B07049248).
Appendix A. Supplementary data Supplementary data to this article can be found online at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2020.12.003.
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