Patients with psoriasis who are taking drugs that affect their immune system have high rates of survival from COVID-19, according to the first findings from a global registry of psoriasis and COVID-19 patients.

The initial findings from the PsoProtect registry, which appear in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that more than 90 percent of psoriasis patients will survive COVID-19.

The paper analyzes 374 clinician-reported cases where patients with psoriasis had COVID-19. The cases came from 25 countries and were submitted between March and July 2020. Most of the patients (334, 89%) were taking biologics for their psoriasis (267, 71%) or traditional immunosuppressants (67, 18%).

Most of the cases - 348 (93%) fully recovered from COVID-19, 77 (21%) were hospitalized and nine (2%) died. The study found that, similarly to the general population, patients who were older, male, of non-white ethnicity and with other health conditions such as chronic lung disease were more likely to require hospital admission for their COVID-19 infection.

The web-based PsoProtect registry was established to understand how psoriasis and the medications that are used to treat it might influence the severity of COVID-19. The registry was founded by dermatologists and researchers at the St John's Institute of Dermatology at Guy's and St Thomas', King's College London and University of Manchester, and supported by psoriasis patient organizations throughout the world, including the Psoriasis Association in the UK.

"Our analysis is important for informing our conversations with patients as the pandemic continues. We can reassure our patients that the survival for people with psoriasis is high, and the risk factors for psoriasis patients are similar to those of the general population,” says Dr Satveer Mahil, a consultant dermatologist at the St John's Institute of Dermatology at Guy's and St Thomas',who  co-leads the registry.  "These findings wouldn't be possible without all the clinicians who have reported cases to PsoProtect and the invaluable support of our partner professional and patient organizations."

Helen McAteer, Chief Executive of the Psoriasis Association adds: "From the beginning of the pandemic we understood the importance of being proactive in order to address the many concerns expressed by people who are living with psoriasis. The PsoProtect registry is vital in helping us understand more about the interactions between psoriasis, its treatments and COVID-19 infection so as patients can make the most informed choices about their care and treatment at this challenging time."