Dementia Tied to Increased COVID-19 Risk

Individuals with dementia appear to have an increased risk of developing COVID-19, according to new findings published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

“These findings highlight the need to protect patients with dementia as part of the strategy to control the COVID‐19 pandemic,” the authors of the study wrote.

They arrived at their conclusion after performing a nested case-control analysis of electronic health record data from 61.9 million US adults and seniors. Data were obtained until August 21, 2020.

The results of the study indicated that patients with dementia had an increased risk of COVID-19 compared with patients without dementia, translating to an adjusted odds ratio [AOR] of 2.00. The strongest effect, according to the authors, was observed for vascular dementia, with an AOR of 3.17. This was followed by presenile dementia (AOR 2.62), Alzheimer disease (AOE 1.86), and post-traumatic dementia (AOE 1.67).

The authors also found that Black patients with dementia had an increased COVID-19 risk compared with White patients with dementia, translating to an AOR of 2.86.

Also of note, 6-month risks of mortality and hospitalization were 20.99% and 59.26%, respectively, among patients with dementia and COVID-19.

—Christina Vogt

Wang Q, Davis PB, Gurney ME, Xu R. COVID‐19 and dementia: Analyses of risk, disparity, and outcomes from electronic health records in the US. Alzheimers Dement. Published online February 9, 2021. doi:10.1002/alz.12296