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Dementia patients at higher risk with Covid

Dementia patients at higher risk with Covid

Dementia patients, especially vascular dementia patients and people of African descent were at a much higher risk of catching and dying from Covid-19.

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University reviewed 6 months of data involving 61.9 million adults (approx. 20% of the US population), finding more than one million had dementia, 15,770 had COVID-19 and 810 had both.

People with vascular dementia had three times the risk of catching Covid; with patients having the other forms of dementia having about twice the risk.

African Americans with dementia have almost 3 times the risk of catching Covid as Caucasian Americans.

Across the six month period, adults hospitalised with COVID-19 were 25.17%. But where patients had both COVID-19 and dementia, 59.26% were hospitalized. Highest at 73.08% were African American patients, compared to 53.85% of Caucasians with both Covid and dementia.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist added, “While this is interesting it really just confirms what we could have surmised from Covid data – older people struggle the most as they have weaker immune systems, people with metabolic syndrome (for example higher BMIs) and people with low vitamin D fair far worse. Unfortunately, the Chicago data we looked at previously showed African Americans with higher BMIs and lower vitamin D.

Having said that, this is a lesson to us all.


1. QuanQiu Wang, Pamela B. Davis, Mark E. Gurney, Rong Xu. COVID‐19 and dementia: Analyses of risk, disparity, and outcomes from electronic health records in the US. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 2021; Feb. 9.