People undergoing long-term dialysis are almost four times more likely to die from Covid-19 and should be prioritized for vaccination, a new study suggests.
For the study, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), the researchers looked at data on 12,501 patients undergoing long-term dialysis, of whom 187 (1.5 per cent) were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Of these, 53 people (28.3 per cent) died and 117 (62.6 per cent) were admitted to hospital, the researchers said.
By contrast, uninfected people who were receiving dialysis during that period had a death rate of 5.8 per cent and a hospitalization rate of 27 per cent.
According to the researchers, since this analysis and particularly in the last two months, the number of people on dialysis infected with the virus has risen to over 570 and the number of deaths has increased to 120.
The study also suggests that risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection in people on dialysis include hemodialysis at a hospital facility as compared to home dialysis.
In addition to vaccination and infection precautions, the researchers recommend educating patients about their increased risk of infection and higher mortality, including risks associated with social activities.