Excess Alzheimer, Related Dementia-Linked Mortality Increased During COVID-19

Large increase seen in mortality with ADRD as underlying, contributing cause of death in pandemic year 1
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Medically Reviewed By :
Meeta Shah, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- In COVID-19 pandemic year 1, there was a large increase in mortality with Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD) as an underlying or contributing cause of death, which was largely mitigated in year 2, according to a study published online July 17 in JAMA Neurology.

Ruijia Chen, Sc.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues compared pandemic-era excess deaths associated with ADRD between year 1 and year 2 of the COVID-19 pandemic in a time series analysis for U.S. decedents aged 65 years and older with ADRD as an underlying or contributing cause of death. A total of 2,334,101 death certificates were analyzed.

The researchers identified 94,688 pandemic-era excess deaths with ADRD in year 1 and 21,586 in year 2. For every age, sex, and racial and ethnic group evaluated, declines in ADRD-related deaths in year 2 were substantial. Among nursing home/long-term care residents, pandemic-era ADRD-related excess deaths decreased from 34,259 in year 1 to 22,050 in year 2, but excess deaths at home remained high (34,487 and 28,804, respectively).

"Our findings underscore the urgent need to mitigate the pandemic's impacts on community-dwelling older adults with ADRD," the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to Johnson & Johnson and Swiss Re.

Abstract/Full Text

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