Respiratory conditions were more common among people with dementia who died due to COVID-19
A previous webpage showed that among people who died due to COVID-19, those who also died with a record of dementia were less likely to have had respiratory conditions recorded on their death certificate than people without a record of dementia.
Looking more broadly at all people who died with dementia recorded on their death certificate during the first 10 months of 2020, those who died due to COVID-19 were more likely to have respiratory conditions recorded on their death certificate compared to those who did not die due to COVID-19. Respiratory conditions include acute conditions like pneumonia that could have developed as a result of COVID-19, as well as chronic lower respiratory conditions like chronic emphysema and asthma (Figure 14).
Although the presentation of COVID-19 among people with dementia can lack common symptoms associated with the virus (such as fever and cough), COVID-19 is still linked to a higher chance of developing pneumonia (Bianchetti et al. 2020; Poloni et al. 2020). People with pre-existing respiratory conditions are also at greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 and dying. Therefore, it is not surprising to see respiratory conditions recorded more commonly among people with dementia when they died due to COVID-19 than among people with dementia who died due to other causes.
This bar graph shows that during the first 10 months of 2020, people with dementia who died due to COVID-19 were much more likely to have had respiratory conditions including pneumonia and chronic lower respiratory diseases than people with dementia who died due to other causes.