There are few studies on how patients with psoriasis who are on biologic therapy are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with psoriasis receiving biologic therapy, patients' current status at a single center in Turkey. A total of 133 patients (mean age; 44.6 ± 13.5 years) were on maintenance biological treatment for moderate-to-severe psoriasis during the pandemic. A standardized questionnaire was administered by phone interviews to determine patients' perceptions, attitudes, and adherence to therapy and identify the frequency of COVID-19 infection, psoriasis status, and new comorbidities during the pandemic. All patients had been receiving a biological agent including ustekinumab, etanercept, adalimumab, secukinumab, infliximab, ixekizumab, or certolizumab pegol. Ninety-one patients (68.4%) had at least one comorbid condition, including psoriatic arthritis (35.3%), hypertension (19.5%), diabetes mellitus (16.5%), obesity, coronary artery disease, and dyslipidemia. During the first 3 months of the pandemic, 52 patients (39%) suspended their biological therapies for short (n = 33) or long (n = 19) periods without medical advice for reasons of fear, worry, and anxiety. All but one patient restarted their medications as a result of therapeutic counseling. Five patients reported suspicious symptoms, but only one had PCR-confirmed COVID-19. Our findings suggest that biologic treatment for moderate-to-severe psoriasis would not pose an additional risk for COVID-19 infection and its life-threatening complications, even in the presence of a high frequency of cardiometabolic comorbidities, provided that all patients are informed and necessary pandemic-directed precautions are well adopted by the patients.
Keywords: COVID-19; Sars-Cov-2; biologic treatment; coronavirus; pandemic; psoriasis.
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