2021-09-21

Prevalence of COVID-19 in patients with autoimmune liver disease in Europe: a patient-oriented online survey performed by ERN RARE-LIVER

During the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic it is of great importance to identify patients at risk of a severe course of COVID-19.

During the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic it is of great importance to identify patients at risk of a severe course of COVID-19. Previous registry studies on patients with autoimmune liver disease (AILD) have a high risk of a reporting bias since mainly severe cases presenting to tertiary care centres were analysed. To gain a wider view on the situation of patients with AILD in Europe irrespective of their presentation to the health care system, ERN RARE-LIVER and associated patient’s organisations performed a patient-oriented online survey and addressed patients directly. Thanks to the contacts of the patient organisations, we reached a large number of patients with AILD across Europe. Of 1779 participants from 21 European countries, 39 patients (2.2%) were diagnosed with COVID-19, five patients were admitted to a regular ward and one patient was admitted to an intensive care unit. As the period prevalence of COVID-19 among the participants was comparable to the general population, the results of the survey indicate that patients with AILD do not seem to be at elevated risk of COVID-19. This study by Zecher et al. is not only a very nice example of the productive cooperation between physicians and patient organisations within ERN RARE-LIVER, but also an important addition to existing registry studies evaluating the risk of COVID-19 in patients with AILD.