Characteristics associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes in people with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis: data from the COVID-19 PsoProtect and Global Rheumatology Alliance physician-reported registries

Ann Rheum Dis. 2023 May;82(5):698-709. doi: 10.1136/ard-2022-223499. Epub 2023 Feb 14.


Objectives: To investigate factors associated with severe COVID-19 in people with psoriasis (PsO), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA).

Methods: Demographic data, clinical characteristics and COVID-19 outcome severity of adults with PsO, PsA and axSpA were obtained from two international physician-reported registries. A three-point ordinal COVID-19 severity scale was defined: no hospitalisation, hospitalisation (and no death) and death. ORs were estimated using multivariable ordinal logistic regression.

Results: Of 5045 cases, 18.3% had PsO, 45.5% PsA and 36.3% axSpA. Most (83.6%) were not hospitalised, 14.6% were hospitalised and 1.8% died. Older age was non-linearly associated with COVID-19 severity. Male sex (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.30 to 1.83), cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, metabolic and cancer comorbidities (ORs 1.25-2.89), moderate/high disease activity and/or glucocorticoid use (ORs 1.39-2.23, vs remission/low disease activity and no glucocorticoids) were associated with increased odds of severe COVID-19. Later pandemic time periods (ORs 0.42-0.52, vs until 15 June 2020), PsO (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.65, vs PsA) and baseline exposure to TNFi, IL17i and IL-23i/IL-12+23i (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.73; OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.87; OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.98; respectively; vs no disease-modifying antirheumatic drug) were associated with reduced odds of severe COVID-19.

Conclusion: Older age, male sex, comorbidity burden, higher disease activity and glucocorticoid intake were associated with more severe COVID-19. Later pandemic time periods, PsO and exposure to TNFi, IL17i and IL-23i/IL-12+23i were associated with less severe COVID-19. These findings will enable risk stratification and inform management decisions for patients with PsO, PsA and axSpA during COVID-19 waves or similar future respiratory pandemics.

Keywords: Arthritis; Arthritis, Psoriatic; Autoimmunity; Covid-19; Spondylitis, Ankylosing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic* / complications
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic* / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic* / epidemiology
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis*
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-12
  • Male
  • Physicians*
  • Psoriasis* / complications
  • Psoriasis* / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis* / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Rheumatology*


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Interleukin-12