Lunski MJ, Burton J, Tawagi K, Maslov D, Simenson V, Barr D, Yuan H, Johnson D, Matrana M, Cole J, Larned Z, Moore B
Background This is the largest and only multivariate study evaluating the difference in mortality from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between patients with cancer and patients without cancer in the United States. The objective was to assess COVID-19 mortality rates in patients with cancer versus patients without cancer and uncover possible statistically significant characteristics contributing to mortality.Methods This retrospective study analyzed patients with cancer and patients without cancer who tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from March 1 through April 30, 2020. This was a multicenter study in the state of Louisiana throughout the Ochsner Health System in both tertiary and nontertiary centers. Patients older than 18 years were eligible. Three hundred twelve patients with cancer were compared with 4833 patients without cancer.Results Mortality was found to be higher in the cancer group. Patients of advanced age with cancer had a significant increase in mortality (odds ratio [OR], 5.96; P < .001). Other significant risk factors for increased mortality were male sex (OR, 2.15), a history of chronic kidney disease (OR, 3.84), and obesity (OR, 1.30). In hospitalized patients with cancer, adverse vital signs on admission, decreased absolute lymphocyte counts, thrombocytopenia, elevated creatinine, lactic acidosis, and elevated procalcitonin all seemed to increase the risk of death. Among patients with cancer, active or progressive disease (P < .001) and recent therapy (OR, 2.34; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-5.08) were shown to increase mortality.Conclusions Patients with cancer have increased mortality in the setting of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in comparison with patients without cancer. Patients with cancer who are 65 years of age or older and those with certain comorbidities have the greatest risk of death. Recent cancer-directed therapy and disease status also seem to play roles in mortality.Lay SummaryThis is the largest study of patients with cancer versus patients without cancer to date and is the first multivariate analysis study comparing these 2 patient populations.This study confirms the hypothesis that patients with cancer are at increased risk for mortality and that there are multiple characteristics posing the potential to risk-stratify these patients in the setting of a future outbreak.