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Virus almost 'wholly responsible' for spike in dementia deaths

People with dementia, particularly care home residents early in the pandemic, were “disproportionately” vulnerable to fatal Covid infections, according to a new report.

The analysis, commissioned by the Scottish Government, also found that excess deaths involving dementia during 2020 were “almost wholly” attributable to Covid.

Of the 2,154 deaths where both dementia and Covid were listed on the death certificate, 95 per cent had Covid as the main underlying cause.

This contradicts previous suggestions that a rise in dementia deaths early in the pandemic may have been linked indirectly to the virus as a result of “lockdown distress” or an increased use of potentially harmful sedation in elderly people confused by restrictions.

The report also found that 73% (1,577) of those who died with both Covid and dementia mentioned on their death certificates had passed away in care homes.

Henry Simmons, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Scotland, said their loved ones had been “torn apart by grief and loss” and that the report “raises many more questions as to why so many people with dementia living in care homes quickly became victims of Covid-19”.

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Source: The Herald, 10 February 2022


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