(HealthDay News) — Patients with active cancer hospitalized with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are more likely to die, according to a study published online in Cancer.

Chen Fu, MD, from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues examined records for hospitalized patients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 to identify those with active cancer or a history of cancer. The correlations between clinical, demographic, and laboratory characteristics with outcomes were examined.

The researchers identified 4184 hospitalized SARS-CoV-2-positive patients, including 233 with active cancer. Compared with those with a history of cancer and without any cancer history, patients with active cancer were more likely to die (34.3% vs 27.6% and 20%, respectively). Associations with increased mortality were seen for active cancer (odds ratio, 1.89), older age (odds ratio, 1.06), male sex (odds ratio, 0.70 for female versus male), diabetes (odds ratio, 1.26), morbidly obese body mass index (odds ratio, 1.87), and elevated D-dimer (odds ratio, 6.41 for value greater than 2,300) in multivariable regression among all patients. There was no correlation seen for recent cancer-directed medical therapy with death. Compared with other cancer types, among patients with active cancer, those with a hematologic malignancy had the highest mortality rate (47.83 vs 28.66%).


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“Among those hospitalized with active cancer and COVID-19, recent cancer therapy was not associated with worse outcomes,” a coauthor said in a statement. “People with active cancer should take precautions against getting COVID-19, including vaccination, but need not avoid therapy for cancer.”

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