HealthDay News — COVID-19-related case fatality rates are higher for patients with Parkinson disease (PD), independent of age, sex, and race, according to a research letter published online Sept. 21 in Movement Disorders.

Qiang Zhang, M.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues compared COVID-19 case fatality rates in PD patients to those of a large, demographically matched population identified using data from the TriNetX COVID-19 research network (79,049 adult COVID-19 patients, of whom 694 had PD as of July 15, 2020). Mortality data were followed until September 9, 2020.

The researchers found that 5.5 percent of non-PD patients died versus 21.3 percent of PD patients. When adjusting for age, sex, and race, the risk for dying from COVID-19 was significantly elevated in the PD group (odds ratio, 1.27). When matching five COVID-19 patients without PD to each PD patient and continuing to adjust for age, sex, and race, similar results were found (odds ratio, 1.30).

“We are all focused on COVID right now, but this is a clear example of a respiratory illness that leads to increased mortality [in PD patients]. These findings may also have implications for understanding risks for PD patients from other diseases, including influenza,” a coauthor said in a statement. “I would recommend a flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccine to try to prevent these problems in patients with PD.”


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