SARS-CoV-2 infection fatality rate (IFR) doubles with every five years of age from childhood onward. Circulating autoantibodies neutralizing IFN-α, IFN-ω, and/or IFN-β are found in ~20% of deceased patients across age groups. In the general population, they are found in ~1% of individuals aged 20-70 years and in >4% of those >70 years old. With a sample of 1,261 deceased patients and 34,159 uninfected individuals, we estimated both IFR and relative risk of death (RRD) across age groups for individuals carrying autoantibodies neutralizing type I IFNs, relative to non-carriers. For autoantibodies neutralizing IFN-α2 or IFN-ω, the RRD was 17.0[95% CI:11.7-24.7] for individuals under 70 years old and 5.8[4.5-7.4] for individuals aged 70 and over, whereas, for autoantibodies neutralizing both molecules, the RRD was 188.3[44.8-774.4] and 7.2[5.0-10.3], respectively. IFRs increased with age, from 0.17%[0.12-0.31] for individuals <40 years old to 26.7%[20.3-35.2] for those ≥80 years old for autoantibodies neutralizing IFN-α2 or IFN-ω, and from 0.84%[0.31-8.28] to 40.5%[27.82-61.20] for the same two age groups, for autoantibodies neutralizing both molecules. Autoantibodies against type I IFNs increase IFRs, and are associated with high RRDs, particularly those neutralizing both IFN-α2 and -ω. Remarkably, IFR increases with age, whereas RRD decreases with age. Autoimmunity to type I IFNs appears to be second only to age among common predictors of COVID-19 death.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Jan 14 2022|