Purpose:The raging pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 has generated the need to address the epidemiological and disease patterns that identify higher risk populations. Cancer patients have been postulated to be at higher risk for mortality, although the current data is conflicting. We sought to compare the outcomes of cancer patients to the CDC cohort and identify high risk features within our cancer population.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with pre-existing cancer diagnosis and diagnosed with COVID-19 infection between 3/2020-6/2020 and analyzed risk factors leading to worse outcome. We also compared our data with the local population average from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), during the same time frame, to assess differences in mortality with special emphasis on comorbidities.
Results: When compared to CDC cohort, our study did not identify an increase in mortality in the cancer cohort, suggesting that cancer patients are not necessarily predisposed to worse outcomes from COVID-19. However, older age and diagnosis of a hematological malignancy was associated with increased mortality. Our study also identified that male sex and presence of comorbidities such as chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease and hyperlipidemia were risk factors for requiring critical care. Higher hospitalization and readmission rates were noted in our cancer cohort when compared to CDC cohort highlighting the importance of close monitoring in cancer patients to keep mortality rates low. Reactive airway disease and Coronary artery disease were more common comorbidities in the cancer cohort whereas diabetes and hypertension were common in the CDC cohort.