Therapy Areas: Cardiovascular
Study reveals that people with Down syndrome have 10 times the risk of death from COVID-19
23 October 2020 -

Researchers have reported that people with Down syndrome have 10 times the risk of dying from COVID-19, as compared to those without the disability, CNN reported on Friday.

The researchers also found a four-fold increased risk of COVID-19 related hospitalisations for those with Down syndrome, "a group that is not currently strategically protected," according to the report in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The researchers have said: "This was after adjustment for cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and care home residence, which our results suggest explained some but not all of the increased risk."

This analysis involved over eight million adults who were part of a COVID-19 risk assessment project sponsored by the British government. Of the 8.26 million people in the tracking study, 4,053 had Down syndrome. Of those, 68 people with the disability died and 40% were killed by COVID-19. Seventeen died of pneumonia or pneumonitis and 35% died of other causes.

Those numbers compare with more than 41,000 people without Down syndrome who died, but just 20% died from COVID-19, 14% from pneumonia or pneumonitis and 65% died of other causes.

Reportedly, Down syndrome is not included in any guidance from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention or the UK's health ministry as a condition that would put people at increased risk for COVID-19.

"However it is associated with immune dysfunction, congenital heart failure, and pulmonary pathology and, given its prevalence, may be a relevant albeit unconfirmed risk factor for severe Covid-19," the researchers concluded.

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