The researchers also found a four-fold increase in the risk of hospitalization associated with the Corona virus for those with Down syndrome, according to the report published in the journal “Annals of Internal Medicine.”
The researchers wrote: “This was after adjusting for cardiovascular, lung, and residential diseases, which our results indicate showed some of the increased risks, but not all.”
The researchers’ analysis included more than 8 million adults who were part of the Coronavirus Risk Assessment Project sponsored by the British government. Of the 8.26 million people in the study, 4,053 had Down syndrome. Of these, 68 people with disabilities died and 40% died from coronavirus. 17 people died from pneumonia and 35% of people died from other causes.
These figures compare to more than 41,000 people without Down syndrome who died, but only 20% of people died from the Corona virus, 14% from pneumonia, and 65% from other causes.
Down syndrome is not included in any guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the UK Ministry of Health as a condition that would put people at increased risk of developing “Covid-19”.
The researchers concluded that although this syndrome is associated with weak immunity, congenital heart failure, and lung disease, it may be a related, albeit uncertain, risk factor for severe Covid-19.
A community at risk
National Down Syndrome Association President and Executive Director Candi Picard said her group is grateful, because the study focused on the impact of the coronavirus on people with Down syndrome.
“Since the start of the epidemic, we have been concerned about our society, especially given the complex medical history of many of our loved ones,” said Pickard. “This latest study confirms our concerns,” she added.
The association and other Down syndrome organizations worked together to produce a “Questions and Answers about Coronavirus and Down Syndrome” guide to help caregivers and others. People with Down syndrome often communicate and understand information in different ways, and they may have difficulty understanding social distancing, masks and other ways to prevent infection.
According to the alliance: “People who have Down syndrome may also find it difficult to tell others when they are not feeling well.” They may find it difficult to know that they have symptoms or how to describe them. For these reasons, they may not raise their concerns or seek medical attention quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to them.
Down syndrome is the most common genetic condition diagnosed in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with more than 6,000 children suffering from this syndrome each year. Down syndrome occurs in 1 in 700 children.