In a study of approximately 80,000 patients, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that Parkinson's disease (PD) have a 30 per cent higher risk of dying from Covid-19 than people without the neurodegenerative condition.
The study, published in the journal Movement Disorders, suggests that Parkinson's disease is an independent risk factor for dying from Covid-19.
The research team identified the Cpvod-19 patient cohort as of July 15 and analysed the mortality data eight weeks later. They found that 5.5 per cent (4,290 out of 78,355) of Covid-19 patients without PD died compared to 21.3 per cent (148 of 694) Covid-19 patients who also had PD.
"However, the patients with PD were generally older, more likely to be male. All of these factors also increase the risk of death from Covid-19," said study researcher Nandakumar Narayanan from the University of Iowa in the US.
The research team used two approaches: logistic regression with age, sex, and matching each PD patient with five non-PD patients with the exact age, sex, and race, and performing a conditional logistic regression. In both cases, the researchers found that the risk of dying from Covid-19 was 30 per cent higher for patients with PD.
"We recognize the limitations of this study; it is retrospective data from a single database, but we are confident that these data show that Parkinson's disease is an independent risk factor for death in Covid-19," Narayanan said.
"We believe this observation will be of interest to clinicians treating patients with Parkinson's disease, and public health officials," he added.
The researchers said that the findings should also inform patients with PD, and their physicians, of the increased importance of preventing Covid-19 infection in these patients.
The team noted that physicians should also weigh the increased risk of death from Covid-19 when considering how to care for PD patients in person during the pandemic.