Clinical characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19 patients with preexisting dementia: a large multicenter propensity-matched Brazilian cohort study

BMC geriatrics

BMC Geriatr. 2024 Jan 5;24(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s12877-023-04494-w.


BACKGROUND: Although dementia has emerged as an important risk factor for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, results on COVID-19-related complications and mortality are not consistent. We examined the clinical presentations and outcomes of COVID-19 in a multicentre cohort of in-hospital patients, comparing those with and without dementia.

METHODS: This retrospective observational study comprises COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed patients aged ≥ 60 years admitted to 38 hospitals from 19 cities in Brazil. Data were obtained from electronic hospital records. A propensity score analysis was used to match patients with and without dementia (up to 3:1) according to age, sex, comorbidities, year, and hospital of admission. Our primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. We also assessed admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), kidney replacement therapy (KRT), sepsis, nosocomial infection, and thromboembolic events.

RESULTS: Among 1,556 patients included in the study, 405 (4.5%) had a diagnosis of dementia and 1,151 were matched controls. When compared to matched controls, patients with dementia had a lower frequency of dyspnoea, cough, myalgia, headache, ageusia, and anosmia; and higher frequency of fever and delirium. They also had a lower frequency of ICU admission (32.7% vs. 47.1%, p < 0.001) and shorter ICU length of stay (7 vs. 9 days, p < 0.026), and a lower frequency of sepsis (17% vs. 24%, p = 0.005), KRT (6.4% vs. 13%, p < 0.001), and IVM (4.6% vs. 9.8%, p = 0.002). There were no differences in hospital mortality between groups.

CONCLUSION: Clinical manifestations of COVID-19 differ between older inpatients with and without dementia. We observed that dementia alone could not explain the higher short-term mortality following severe COVID-19. Therefore, clinicians should consider other risk factors such as acute morbidity severity and baseline frailty when evaluating the prognosis of older adults with dementia hospitalised with COVID-19.

PMID:38182982 | PMC:PMC10770897 | DOI:10.1186/s12877-023-04494-w