TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Patients undergoing long-term dialysis who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 have a high COVID-19 case fatality rate, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Leena Taji, M.P.H., from the Ontario Renal Network at the University of Toronto, and colleagues examined the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes for COVID-19 (March 12 to Aug. 20, 2020) among patients undergoing long-term dialysis in Ontario, Canada.

The researchers found that during the study period, 1.5 percent of 12,501 dialysis patients were diagnosed with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Of those diagnosed with COVID-19, nearly two-thirds (62.6 percent) were admitted to the hospital, and the case fatality rate was 28.3 percent. In-center hemodialysis versus home dialysis (odds ratio [OR], 2.54), living in a long-term care residence (OR, 7.67), living in the greater Toronto area (OR, 3.27), Black ethnicity (OR, 3.05), Indian subcontinent ethnicity (OR, 1.70), other non-White ethnicities (OR, 2.03), and lower-income quintiles (OR, 1.82) were all significant predictors of infection.

“Special attention should be paid to addressing risk factors for infection, and these patients should be prioritized for vaccination,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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