05 Feb Dialysis Patients at High Risk of COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization and Death
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Peter G. Blake MD, FRCPC, FRCPI,MSc MB
Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology
Ontario Renal Network
University of Western Ontario and London Health Sciences Centre
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The Covid-19 pandemic has been very difficult for people on dialysis with reports of high infection rates and high mortality. We prospectively collected data on SARS-CoV-2 infection every week from all renal programs in the province of Ontario, Canada from the start of the pandemic.
Between March and August 2020, 187 people on dialysis, equivalent to 1.5% of all those in the province, were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Over 60% were hospitalized, 20% required ICU and the mortality rate was very high at over 28%.
Risk factors for infection included center hemodialysis versus home dialysis, residing in long term care, black, south Asian and other non-white ethnicity, and low neighbourhood income.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Patients on chronic dialysis, especially those on center hemodialysis, as distinct from home dialysis, are at high risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and at very high risk of hospitalization and mortality. Prioritization of this high-risk population for vaccination is indicated, as are other preventive strategies.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Between August 2020 and the end of January 2021 the numbers and percentage of people on dialysis in Ontario infected with SARS-CoV-2 have risen further to over 600 and to almost 5% respectively, and the case fatality rate is now 21%, all further emphasizing the vulnerability of this population.
Any disclosures? The authors are almost all full time or contracted part-time employees of the Ontario Renal Network, a government agency responsible for funding and quality of renal services in Ontario
COVID-19 in patients undergoing long-term dialysis in Ontario
Leena Taji, Doneal Thomas, Matthew J. Oliver, Jane Ip, Yiwen Tang, Angie Yeung, Rebecca Cooper, Andrew A. House, Phil McFarlane and Peter G. Blake
CMAJ February 04, 2021 cmaj.202601; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.202601
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