Patients with Pompe disease, a rare metabolic myopathy, were thought to be at increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease during the pandemic. In addition, the lockdown may have affected their regular treatment.
To assess the perceived effect of COVID-19 infection and of the pandemic on the treatment, and physical and mental health of patients with Pompe disease.
Patients with Pompe disease over 16 years of age participated in an international, cross-sectional, online survey (September 20, 2022–November 7, 2022). The questionnaire, available in eight languages, consisted of 89 questions divided into 3 parts: (A) severity of Pompe disease, (B) COVID-19 precautions and infection(s) and (C) effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among 342 respondents, originating from 25 different countries, 47.6% experienced one or more COVID-19 infections. While most recovered within 4 weeks (69.7%) and only eight patients needed to be admitted to the hospital, 42.2% of patients experienced an impact of the infection on their overall condition, respiratory status and/or mobility status. More severely affected patients took more stringent control measures. The pandemic additionally caused interruptions in medical care in many patients (56.0%) and 17.2% of patients experienced interruptions of enzyme replacement therapy. The pandemic also affected many patients’ disease severity (27.7%), mental health (55.4%) and feeling of loneliness (43.4%).
COVID-19 infection(s) and the pandemic affected the treatment, physical health and mental health of patients with Pompe disease, emphasizing the importance of continued patient centered care during a difficult time such as the COVID-19 pandemic.