Therapies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Do Not Pose Additional Risks for Adverse Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

An IG-IBD Study

Cristina Bezzio; Alessandro Armuzzi; Federica Furfaro; Sandro Ardizzone; Monica Milla; Sonia Carparelli; Ambrogio Orlando; Flavio Andrea Caprioli; Fabiana Castiglione; Chiara Viganò; Davide Giuseppe Ribaldone; Fabiana Zingone; Rita Monterubbianesi; Nicola Imperatore; Stefano Festa; Marco Daperno; Ludovica Scucchi; Antonio Ferronato; Luca Pastorelli; Paola Balestrieri; Chiara Ricci; Maria Cappello; Carla Felice; Gionata Fiorino; Simone Saibeni


Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2021;54(11_12):1432-1441. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Older age and comorbidities are the main risk factors for adverse COVID-19 outcomes in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The impact of IBD medications is still under investigation.

Aims: To assess risk factors for adverse outcomes of COVID-19 in IBD patients and use the identified risk factors to build risk indices.

Methods: Observational cohort study. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression was used to identify risk factors associated with pneumonia, hospitalisation, need for ventilatory support, and death.

Results: Of the 937 patients (446 with ulcerative colitis [UC]) evaluated, 128 (13.7%) had asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, 664 (70.8%) had a favourable course, and 135 (15.5%) had moderate or severe COVID-19. In UC patients, obesity, active disease and comorbidities were significantly associated with adverse outcomes. In patients with Crohn's disease (CD), age, obesity, comorbidities and an additional immune-mediated inflammatory disease were identified as risk factors. These risk factors were incorporated into two indices to identify patients with UC or CD with a higher risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes. In multivariable analyses, no single IBD medication was associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes, but anti-TNF agents were associated with a lower risk of pneumonia in UC, and lower risks of hospitalisation and severe COVID-19 in CD.

Conclusion: The course of COVID-19 in patients with IBD is similar to that in the general population. IBD patients with active disease and comorbidities are at greater risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes. IBD medications do not pose additional risks. The risk indices may help to identify patients who should be prioritised for COVID-19 re-vaccination or for therapies for SARS-CoV-2 infection.