Age Ageing. 2022 Dec 5;51(12):afac277. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afac277.
BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has indirect impacts on patients with chronic medical conditions, which may increase mortality risks for various non-COVID-19 causes. This study updates excess death statistics for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) up to 2022 and evaluates their demographic and spatial disparities in the USA.
METHODS: This is an ecological time-series analysis of AD and PD mortality in the USA from January 2018 to March 2022. Poisson log-linear regressions were utilised to fit the weekly death data. Excess deaths were calculated with the difference between the observed and expected deaths under a counterfactual scenario of pandemic absence.
RESULTS: From March 2020 to March 2022, we observed 41,115 and 10,328 excess deaths for AD and PD, respectively. The largest percentage increases in excess AD and PD deaths were found in the initial pandemic wave. For people aged ≥85 years, excess mortalities of AD and PD (per million persons) were 3946.0 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2954.3, 4892.3) and 624.3 (95% CI: 369.4, 862.5), which were about 23 and 9 times higher than those aged 55-84 years, respectively. Females had a three-time higher excess mortality of AD than males (182.6 vs. 67.7 per million persons). The non-Hispanic Black people experienced larger increases in AD or PD deaths (excess percentage: 31.8% for AD and 34.6% for PD) than the non-Hispanic White population (17.1% for AD and 14.7% for PD).
CONCLUSION: Under the continuing threats of COVID-19, efforts should be made to optimise health care capacity for patients with AD and PD.