Risk Factors for Longer-Term Mortality in Discharged Patients with Dementia and SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Matched Case-Control Study.


BACKGROUND: Persisting symptoms and increased mortality after SARS-CoV-2 infection has been described in COVID-19 survivors. OBJECTIVE: We examined longer-term mortality in patients with dementia and SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: A retrospective matched case-control study of 165 patients with dementia who survived an acute hospital admission with COVID-19 infection, and 1325 patients with dementia who survived a hospital admission but without SARS-CoV-2 infection. Potential risk factors investigated included socio-demographic factors, clinical features, and results of investigations. Data were fitted using a Cox proportional hazard model. RESULTS: Compared to patients with dementia but without SARS-CoV-2 infection, people with dementia and SARS-CoV-2 infection had a 4.4-fold risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 4.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.13-6.30) even beyond the acute phase of infection. This excess mortality could be seen up to 125 days after initial recovery but was not elevated beyond this time. Risk factors for COVID-19-associated mortality included prescription of antipsychotics (aHR = 3.06, 95% CI 1.40-6.69) and benzodiazepines (aHR = 3.00, 95% CI 1.28-7.03). Abnormalities on investigation associated with increased mortality included high white cell count (aHR = 1.21, 95% CI 1.04-1.39), higher absolute neutrophil count (aHR = 1.28, 95% CI 1.12-1.46), higher C-reactive protein (aHR = 1.01, 95% CI 1.00-1.02), higher serum sodium (aHR = 1.09, 95% CI 1.01-1.19), and higher ionized calcium (aHR = 1.03, 95% CI 1.00-1.06). The post-acute COVID mortality could be modeled for the first 120 days after recovery with a balanced accuracy of 87.2%. CONCLUSION: We found an increased mortality in patients with dementia beyond the acute phase of illness. We identified several investigation results associated with increased mortality, and increased mortality in patients prescribed antipsychotics or benzodiazepines.