Dementia: Another Risk Factor of a Severe COVID-19 Infection
Buzz around the Coronavirus pandemic doesn’t seem to be calming down. Every other day some new discovery is made, which leaves people either scared or hopeful for a better future. But sadly, what’s entailed in this post might leave you a bit worried.
Since the commencement of the pandemic, we’ve all been hearing that people with comorbidities like diabetes, cancer, and lung diseases are more prone to contract the infection, isn’t it? However, now you can add one more condition to the list. A recent study published on February 9, 2021, has found that people with dementia are at a higher risk of being infected by the virus.
Join us as we make you familiar with the new research.
Findings of the new study
The research regarding dementia as a risk factor of COVID-19 was done while analyzing nearly 61.9 million people’s electronic health records from February 1, 2020, to August 21, 2020. All the participants were above the age of 18, and they represented approximately one-fifth of the US population.
Through the study, researchers inferred that in addition to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and asthma, people with dementia were twice as likely to be infected by the Coronavirus as compared to those who don’t have it. In terms of the severity of the infection in such people, researchers said that there are 4.4% more chances that people with dementia can die from the disease as compared to those who don’t have it.
Despite the oddity, the study didn’t come as a surprise. Throughout the pandemic, experts have been speculating that people with dementia are not only more prone to get the infection but can be seriously impaired from it.
Even more risky – people with vascular dementia
In the same research, it’s also been deduced that people with vascular dementia are at a greater risk of contracting the infection as compared to people suffering from other types of dementia.
Vascular dementia is caused by conditions that reduce blood flow or that damage blood vessels (just like when a stroke blocks an artery, over time, blood vessels get damaged).
To sum it up
Dementia is a condition characterized by a decline in mental ability. And the most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. As experts say, COVID-19 infection can turn out to be risky for people with dementia. Also, since in dementia, there’s a need for assistance in the patients’ daily activities, social distancing can be hard to comply with.
We can take away from these findings that we should encourage more people to take protective measures like wearing masks and have wider adoption of vaccination.
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