Since the start of the Covid19 pandemic, people in “at risk” populations were advised to take extra precautions to avoid getting the virus. According to the Center for Disease Control, this list includes the following conditions: cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, people with compromised immune systems, people who are obese, women who are pregnant, smokers, people with sickle cell disease, and those with diabetes.
According to a recent research study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, this list should include one more condition: people with Down’s Syndrome. The Mayo Clinic notes that people with Down’s Syndrome can have the following complications: heart defects, gastrointestinal defects, immune disorders, obesity and leukemia – all of which would put them at higher risk should they contract Covid19. So, although the risk factors often shared by those with Down’s are on the list, the syndrome itself has been left off. The researchers suggest that perhaps that needs to change.
The study, which focused on the first six months of 2020, analyzed data in QResearch, a sweeping, longitudinal primary-care database that has been compiled in England since 1998. According to the study, a person with Down’s Syndrome who contracts the Covid19 virus was 4x more likely to require hospitalization and 10x more likely to die from complications caused by the virus, compared to people who do not have Down’s.
We all need to take care of each other. All of us know of families in our communities who have members with Down’s. If you need another reason to engage in the proper health protocols – washing your hands, maintaining social distance, and wearing a mask – think of them.