The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mortality in people with dementia without COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Posted on 22.11.2022 - 10:06
Abstract Introduction Significant mortality amongst vulnerable populations, such as people living with dementia, might go undetected during pandemic conditions due to refocus of care efforts. There is an urgent need to fully evaluate the pandemic impact on mortality amongst people living with dementia in order to facilitate future healthcare reforms and prevent deaths. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was any significant difference in mortality amongst people with dementia without COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous years. Methods A literature search was conducted in 5 databases. The relative risk ratio and confidence interval was used to estimate the change in mortality rates amongst people with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic. The I2 value was used to assess heterogeneity, publication bias, and sensitivity analyses were performed. Results Pooled analysis of 11 studies showed that mortality amongst people living with dementia was significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic for people with dementia without COVID-19. Mortality risk increased by 25% during the time period studied. Subgroup analysis was not performed due the low number of included studies. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that people with dementia had a significant increased mortality during the pandemic even if they did not have COVID-19. People with dementia should participate in efforts that reduce general social spread and pandemic impact on healthcare system such as vaccinations, mask mandates, and testing. These results have clinical implications as preventing direct COVID-19 infection is not enough to adequately protect people living with dementia from increased mortality. Measures to limit social spread of infections and help support patients should also be a focus for clinicians. Further research should focus on the identification of mechanisms and other explanations for increased mortality as well as contributing factors such as living in care homes and differences between countries with various pandemic strategies.


Axenhus, Michael; Frederiksen, Kristian Steen; Zhou, Robin Ziyue; Waldemar, Gunhild; Winblad, Bengt (2022): The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mortality in people with dementia without COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. figshare. Collection.
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