WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Adults aged 65 years and older with COVID-19 infection have an increased risk for developing new-onset Alzheimer disease, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Lindsey Wang, from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues examined the potential association between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and the risk for Alzheimer disease in a retrospective cohort study of 6,245,282 older adults (aged 65 years and older) with medical encounters between February 2020 and May 2021.

The researchers found that people with COVID-19 had an increased risk for a new diagnosis of Alzheimer disease within 360 days after the initial diagnosis of COVID-19 (hazard ratio, 1.69). Increased risk was seen in patients stratified by age group, gender, and race or ethnicity; risk was highest for those aged 85 years or older and for women (hazard ratios, 1.89 and 1.82, respectively).

“If this increase in new diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease is sustained, the wave of patients with a disease currently without a cure will be substantial, and could further strain our long-term care resources,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Now, so many people in the U.S. have had COVID and the long-term consequences of COVID are still emerging. It is important to continue to monitor the impact of this disease on future disability.”

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