Scientists from Case Western Reserve University found that breakthrough COVID-19 cases resulting in infections, hospitalizations and deaths are significantly more likely in cancer and Alzheimer’s patients.
People with these diseases are often more susceptible to infection in general and are among the population’s most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 as well.
The research findings are published in JAMA Oncology, Alzheimer’s & Dementia and was conducted by Rong Xu et al.
In the first study, the team analyzed electronic health records to track the number of breakthrough COVID infections, hospitalizations and mortality rates among vaccinated patients with cancer.
The research team counted people diagnosed with the 12 most common types of cancer: lung, breast, colorectal, bladder, liver, endometrial, skin, prostate, thyroid and blood cancers.
They analyzed the records of more than 636,000 vaccinated patients, including more than 45,000 vaccinated people with cancer.
They found strongly increased risks for COVID-19 breakthrough infection in vaccinated patients with cancer, especially those undergoing active cancer care, with marked variations among specific cancer types.
In the second study, the team analyzed electronic health data to examine the incidence rate of breakthrough COVID-19 infections in those diagnosed with dementia.
They examined anonymous electronic health data from more than 262,847 adults 65 or older vaccinated between December 2020 and August 2021, and who didn’t have the infection before being vaccinated.
Of that number, 2,764 people were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; 1,244 with vascular dementia, 259 with Lewy body dementia, 229 with frontotemporal dementia and 4,385 with mild cognitive impairment.
The researchers compared the overall risks of breakthrough infections in vaccinated patients with dementia to those without any cognitive impairment.
Vaccinated patients with dementia had an overall risk for breakthrough infections ranging from 10.3% for Alzheimer’s disease to 14.3% for Lewy body dementia, much higher than the 5.6% in the vaccinated older adults without dementia.
The team says patients with dementia have a significantly higher rate of breakthrough COVID infections after vaccination than patients of the same age and risk factors other than dementia.
Caregivers should consider ongoing masking and social distancing, as well as booster vaccines to protect these individuals.
If you care about COVID, please read studies about new COVID-19 drug for people with diabetes, and scientists find how COVID-19 damages lungs.
For more information about COVID, please see recent studies that exposure to harmless coronaviruses can boost your COVID-19 immunity, and results showing many people recovered from COVID-19 get cognitive problems.
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