Case series/case reports (Indigo)
Patients with neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) – including many elderly, immunosuppressed, and disabled individuals – may have been particularly affected during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Lombardy, a COVID-19 high-incidence area between February and May 2020. In this article the authors aimed to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of life (QoL) and perceived disease burden of this group of patients. The authors conducted a cross-sectional phone-based survey study between June 1st 2020, and June 14th 2020 on a sample of 240 NMD patients followed at their clinic in Milan, Italy. They asked about perceived NMD burden and QoL before and during the COVID-19 pandemic; access to outpatient care and ancillary services and investigated the presence of symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 infection and confirmed cases. 205 responses were collected. 53 patients (25.9%) reported a subjective worsening of the underlying NMD. QoL measures showed a significant worsening between pre and pandemic timeframes (OR 2.14 95%; CI 1.82-2.51). Outpatient visits were postponed in more than half of cases (57.1%), with 104 patients (50.7%) experiencing a cancellation of scheduled diagnostic tests. 79 patients (38.5%) reported at least one symptom attributable to COVID-19 infection. Among the 10 patients tested with nasopharyngeal swabs, 6 tested positive and 3 died from respiratory failure, including 2 patients on corticosteroid/ immunosuppressive therapy. The authors concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic affected QoL and limited access to outpatient care and ancillary services of NMD patients in Lombardy between February and May 2020.
Gagliardi D, Costamagna G, Abati E, Mauri E, Brusa R, Scudeller L, Andreoli L, Citterio G, Piccin E, Magri F, Meneri M, Velardo D, Sciacco M, Bresolin N, Corti S, Comi GP. Impact of COVID-19 on the quality of life of patients with neuromuscular disorders in the Lombardy area, Italy. Muscle Nerve. 2021 Jul 22. doi: 10.1002/mus.27378.