People with dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease are at a threefold risk of dying as a result of infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind Covid-19, according to a study by Brazilian researchers.
The risk is six times greater if they are over 80, found the team at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) and Butantan Institute in partnership with colleagues at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
“We found that all causes of dementia are risk factors for severity and death in Covid-19 and that these risks are more pronounced for Alzheimer’s patients,” Sergio Verjovski-Almeida, principal investigator for the project and a professor at USP’s Chemistry Institute, told Agencia FAPESP.
“Some factor that hasn’t yet been identified increases the predisposition of Alzheimer’s patients to progress to severe Covid-19 and die from the viral disease,” Verjovski said. “The results of our study point to a need for special attention to these patients when hospitalized.” The findings are published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Statistical analysis showed that all causes of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s, were risk factors for severity of the disease and death in the case of hospitalised patients, regardless of age.