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      Incidence and Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Older Adults Living with Dementia: A Population-Based Cohort Study

      , * , , , , , ,
      Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
      IOS Press
      Administrative databases, Alzheimer’s disease, cohort study, COVID-19, dementia, prognostic factors, SARS-CoV-2 infection

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          The identification of risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection and mortality in patients with dementia is a key aspect to support clinical decisions and public health interventions.


          To assess the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 related death in a cohort of patients with dementia residing in the Lazio region and to investigate predicting factors for both infection and mortality.


          This population-based study used information from administrative databases and the SARS-CoV-2 infection surveillance system. Patients with dementia (age ≥65) were enrolled as of December 31, 2019 and followed-up until February 28, 2021. Cumulative risk of infection and death within 60 days of infection onset, and age-standardized incidence (SIR) and mortality (SMR) ratios were calculated. Logistic regression models were applied to identify factors associated with infection and mortality.


          Among 37,729 dementia patients, 2,548 had a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The crude risk of infection was 6.7%. An increase in risk of infection was observed both in women (SIR 1.72; 95% CI 1.64–1.80) and men (SIR 1.43; 95% CI 1.33–1.54). Pneumonia, cerebrovascular and blood diseases, femur fracture, anxiety, antipsychotic and antithrombotic use were associated with an increased risk of infection. The crude risk of death was 31.0%, the SMRs 2.32 (95% CI 2.05–2.65) for men, and 2.82 (95% CI 2.55–3.11) for women. Factors associated with mortality included: male gender, age ≥85, symptoms at the diagnosis, antipsychotic and systemic antibiotics treatment.


          These findings emphasize the need of close and tailored monitoring of dementia patients to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on this fragile population.

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          Most cited references48

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          Gender Differences in Patients With COVID-19: Focus on Severity and Mortality

          Objective: The recent outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is reminiscent of the SARS outbreak in 2003. We aim to compare the severity and mortality between male and female patients with COVID-19 or SARS. Study Design and Setting: We extracted the data from: (1) a case series of 43 hospitalized patients we treated, (2) a public data set of the first 37 cases of patients who died of COVID-19 and 1,019 patients who survived in China, and (3) data of 524 patients with SARS, including 139 deaths, from Beijing in early 2003. Results: Older age and a high number of comorbidities were associated with higher severity and mortality in patients with both COVID-19 and SARS. Age was comparable between men and women in all data sets. In the case series, however, men's cases tended to be more serious than women's (P = 0.035). In the public data set, the number of men who died from COVID-19 is 2.4 times that of women (70.3 vs. 29.7%, P = 0.016). In SARS patients, the gender role in mortality was also observed. The percentage of males were higher in the deceased group than in the survived group (P = 0.015). Conclusion: While men and women have the same prevalence, men with COVID-19 are more at risk for worse outcomes and death, independent of age.
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            Male sex identified by global COVID-19 meta-analysis as a risk factor for death and ITU admission

            Anecdotal evidence suggests that Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, exhibits differences in morbidity and mortality between sexes. Here, we present a meta-analysis of 3,111,714 reported global cases to demonstrate that, whilst there is no difference in the proportion of males and females with confirmed COVID-19, male patients have almost three times the odds of requiring intensive treatment unit (ITU) admission (OR = 2.84; 95% CI = 2.06, 3.92) and higher odds of death (OR = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.31, 1.47) compared to females. With few exceptions, the sex bias observed in COVID-19 is a worldwide phenomenon. An appreciation of how sex is influencing COVID-19 outcomes will have important implications for clinical management and mitigation strategies for this disease.
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              Estimation of the global prevalence of dementia in 2019 and forecasted prevalence in 2050: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

              Background Given the projected trends in population ageing and population growth, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase. In addition, strong evidence has emerged supporting the importance of potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia. Characterising the distribution and magnitude of anticipated growth is crucial for public health planning and resource prioritisation. This study aimed to improve on previous forecasts of dementia prevalence by producing country-level estimates and incorporating information on selected risk factors. Methods We forecasted the prevalence of dementia attributable to the three dementia risk factors included in the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 (high body-mass index, high fasting plasma glucose, and smoking) from 2019 to 2050, using relative risks and forecasted risk factor prevalence to predict GBD risk-attributable prevalence in 2050 globally and by world region and country. Using linear regression models with education included as an additional predictor, we then forecasted the prevalence of dementia not attributable to GBD risks. To assess the relative contribution of future trends in GBD risk factors, education, population growth, and population ageing, we did a decomposition analysis. Findings We estimated that the number of people with dementia would increase from 57·4 (95% uncertainty interval 50·4–65·1) million cases globally in 2019 to 152·8 (130·8–175·9) million cases in 2050. Despite large increases in the projected number of people living with dementia, age-standardised both-sex prevalence remained stable between 2019 and 2050 (global percentage change of 0·1% [–7·5 to 10·8]). We estimated that there were more women with dementia than men with dementia globally in 2019 (female-to-male ratio of 1·69 [1·64–1·73]), and we expect this pattern to continue to 2050 (female-to-male ratio of 1·67 [1·52–1·85]). There was geographical heterogeneity in the projected increases across countries and regions, with the smallest percentage changes in the number of projected dementia cases in high-income Asia Pacific (53% [41–67]) and western Europe (74% [58–90]), and the largest in north Africa and the Middle East (367% [329–403]) and eastern sub-Saharan Africa (357% [323–395]). Projected increases in cases could largely be attributed to population growth and population ageing, although their relative importance varied by world region, with population growth contributing most to the increases in sub-Saharan Africa and population ageing contributing most to the increases in east Asia. Interpretation Growth in the number of individuals living with dementia underscores the need for public health planning efforts and policy to address the needs of this group. Country-level estimates can be used to inform national planning efforts and decisions. Multifaceted approaches, including scaling up interventions to address modifiable risk factors and investing in research on biological mechanisms, will be key in addressing the expected increases in the number of individuals affected by dementia. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gates Ventures.

                Author and article information

                J Alzheimers Dis
                J Alzheimers Dis
                Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
                IOS Press (Nieuwe Hemweg 6B, 1013 BG Amsterdam, The Netherlands )
                29 July 2022
                13 September 2022
                : 89
                : 2
                : 681-693
                [1]Department of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service , Rome, Italy
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: Nera Agabiti, Department of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service, Rome, Italy. Tel.: +39 0699722130; Fax: +39 06 99722111; E-mail: n.agabiti@ 123456deplazio.it .
                © 2022 – The authors. Published by IOS Press

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 6 July 2022
                Research Article

                administrative databases,alzheimer’s disease,cohort study,covid-19,dementia,prognostic factors,sars-cov-2 infection


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