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Dr Damiani: Key Takeaways on Psoriasis, Biologic Use, and COVID-19

A recent study, presented at EADV Virtual, highlighted the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes among patients with psoriasis treated with biologics. Study author Giovanni Damiani, MD, reviewed the key takeaways of this poster in this video.

Dr Damiani is with the department of clinical dermatology at the IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi and is a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Milan in Italy.

A recent study presented at the 29th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress (EADV Virtual) revealed that biologics may decrease the risk of intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalization and death among patients with psoriasis. In the study, 1193 adult patients with psoriasis treated with biologic or small molecule therapies were compared with the general population of the Lombardy region in Italy. Data were collected from February 21, 2020 (first COVID-19 case), to April 9, 2020. Findings showed that patients treated with biologic therapies had a higher risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (unadjusted odds ratio [OR], 3.43; 95% CI, 2.25-5.73), being self-quarantined at home (OR, 9.05; 95% CI, 5.61-14.61), and being hospitalized (unadjusted OR, 3.41; 95% CI, 0.21-8.63). Despite the higher risk of testing positive, the researchers found the risk of being admitted to the ICU (unadjusted OR, 3.59; 95% CI, 0.21-54.55) and of death (unadjusted OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.03-6.59) were not statically significant.


I have three main takeaways. One is that biological therapies protect psoriatic patients against COVID‑19 severe outcomes, such as ICU admission and death.

Interleukin‑17 seems to exert a higher protective effect on COVID‑19 than other biological therapies. Those are preliminary study but seems to be solid and consistent.

Third one, dermatologists should discuss more COVID‑19 evidence with psoriatic patients to avoid loss of compliance, especially during pandemics.

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