Odds of Severe COVID-19 High for Hematologic Cancer Patients During Pandemic

Odds of developing severe COVID-19 remained high despite vaccination
Odds of Severe COVID-19 High for Hematologic Cancer Patients During Pandemic
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

THURSDAY, Feb. 29, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hematologic cancers, the odds of developing severe COVID-19 despite vaccination remained high through mid-2022, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Sonia T. Anand, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the VA Boston Cooperative Studies Program, and colleagues conducted a case-control study including all patients with hematologic malignant neoplasms in the national Veterans Health Administration with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection after vaccination. Patients with severe COVID-19 (cases) versus nonsevere COVID-19 (controls) were compared; data were included for 6,122 patients, 21.3 percent of whom had severe COVID-19.

The researchers found that the odds of severe disease were higher in association with age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] per one-year increase, 1.05), treatment with antineoplastic or immune-suppressive drugs (e.g., in combination with glucocorticoids: aOR, 2.32), and comorbidities (aOR per comorbidity, 1.35). Booster vaccination was associated with lower odds of severe disease. Overall, 3.7 percent of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the period after oral antiviral drugs became widely used in March 2022 had progression to severe COVID-19.

"Although the magnitude of benefit of antiviral treatments during nonsevere disease could not be quantified, the relatively low proportion of treated patients who developed severe COVID-19 is sufficient to promote greater use," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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