COVID-19 increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 50-80% in the elderly


In a recent study published in Alzheimer’s Disease JournalIn the United States, researchers have investigated whether infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can lead to the emergence of new Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

It has been suggested that infection may lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease; However, it is not clear whether SARS-CoV-2 infection can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among Alzheimer’s patients and the long-term neurological consequences of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (representing in part inflammation-related changes, which are critical in the neuropathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease) – the relationship between SARS infection -2 Alzheimer’s disease. The study authors previously demonstrated a high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among fully vaccinated Alzheimer’s patients.

Study: COVID-19 association with the new Alzheimer's disease.  Image Credit: Donkeyworx / Shutterstock

Stady: COVID-19 linked to new Alzheimer’s disease. Image Credit: Donkeyworx / Shutterstock

about studying

The researchers examined the risk of developing new Alzheimer’s disease among SARS-CoV-2-positive patients in the current retrospective study.

The study included 6,245,282 adults aged 65 without a prior diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Data were obtained from unidentified electronic health records (electronic health records) of more than 95 million patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 for outpatient and inpatient visits from health care organizations (n ​​= 68) across 50 states of the United States (US) Covers various geographic, ethnic, age, insurance and income categories.

Study participants were categorized into two groups: (1) the SARS-CoV-2 positive group comprising 410,748 individuals who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 between February 2, 2020 and May 30, 2021; (2) The SARS-CoV-2 negative group of 5,834,534 individuals without exposure to SARS-CoV-2 but who sought medical care from healthcare organizations between February 2, 2020 and May 30, 2021 for reasons other than COVID-19 .

AD and SARS-CoV-2 disease status were based on ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases) codes and laboratory analyses. The risk of developing new Alzheimer’s disease was examined for the two stratified groups by race (Hispanic, White, and Black, and White) and age (65 to 74 years, 75 to 84 years, and 85 years).

Propensity score matching (PSM) was performed in a 1:1 ratio for demographic parameters and negative socioeconomic determinants such as educational difficulties, occupational exposures, social, physical, or psychosocial environments, and factors known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The team used a Kaplan-Meier estimator and Cox proportional modeling to analyze and calculate hazard ratios (HRs).

consequences

After PSM, the data showed that the average age of individuals in the two study groups was 74 years, with the majority being female (54%). The median proportions of blacks, whites, and Hispanics were 10%, 75%, and 6.7%, respectively, and adverse socioeconomic and psychological conditions were reported for 13% of the population sample.

Comorbid conditions such as hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, tobacco smoking and heavy alcohol consumption were prevalent among 60%, 23%, 30%, 22%, 5.8%, 3.1%, 11% and 3.8% from the population sample, respectively.

Prior to PSM, the risks of developing new Alzheimer’s disease among SARS-CoV-2-positive and SARS-CoV-2-negative individuals were 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively. After PSM, the risk was increased among SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals compared to SARS-CoV-2-negative individuals (HR: 1.7).

The HR values ​​for the risk of developing new Alzheimer’s disease among COVID-19 patients aged 65 to 74 years, 75 to 84 years, and -85 years were 1.7, 1.6, and 1.7, respectively. The HR values ​​for risk among females (HR 1.8) were greater than those for males (HR 1.5). The HR values ​​for risk among blacks, whites, and Hispanics were 1.6, 1.6, and 1.3, respectively. Taken together, the risk was higher among adults 85 years old (HR 1.9) and among females (HR: 1.8).

Overall, the study results showed that SARS-CoV-2-positive adult females aged 85 years were at increased risk of developing new Alzheimer’s disease within 360 days of being diagnosed with SARS infection. However, future studies with validation of data from multiple sources and longer follow-up periods are required to elucidate the mechanisms and ongoing monitoring of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on Alzheimer’s disease.

Study restrictions

Limitations of the current study include the retrospective and observational nature of the study that could introduce potential biases and inaccuracies in AD diagnosis, which may not have affected relative risk analyzes to a large extent as both groups were formed from the same data set.



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