COVID-19 death rate is 29% in people with this health problem

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In a new study, researchers found for people with multiple myeloma and COVID-19, the fatality rate is 29% among hospitalized patients, with increased odds of adverse outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities.

The research was conducted by a team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and elsewhere.

The team reported outcomes and risk factors for serious disease in multiple myeloma patients treated at five centers in New York City in the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data were included for 100 multiple myeloma patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

The researchers found that 75 of the patients were admitted; of these, 13 and 22 (17 and 29 percent) were put on invasive mechanical ventilation and expired, respectively.

Four of the 25 non-admitted patients were asymptomatic.

Compared with white patients, Hispanic/Latinos and African-American Blacks had an increased risk for adverse outcomes (intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation, or death: odds ratios, 4.7 and 3.5, respectively).

Overall, higher levels of inflammatory markers and cytokine activation were seen in patients who met the adverse combined endpoint.

No strong associations were seen between other risk factors and adverse outcomes.

The team says until there is a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19, clinical management and treatment of patients with multiple myeloma has to be carefully considered and adjusted to reduce the risk of exposure and minimize immunosuppression.

One author of the study is Malin Hultcrantz, M.D., Ph.D.

The study is published in Blood Cancer Discovery.

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