ACHI-Led Study Identifies Health Conditions That Raise COVID-19 Risks for Arkansans

November 17, 2020


John Lyon
Strategic Communications Manager

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A study by researchers with ACHI, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and the Arkansas Department of Health has identified several health conditions associated with elevated risk for severe outcomes among COVID-19 patients in Arkansas.

The study, published in the November issue of The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society, used Arkansas Department of Health data on COVID-19 patients and claims data from the Arkansas All-Payer Claims Database, which is part of the Arkansas Healthcare Transparency Initiative, to identify pre-existing health conditions that were associated with poor outcomes among COVID-19 patients. We reviewed data ― with personal identifiers removed ― on 28,885 patients, none of whom were incarcerated when they contracted COVID-19.

We found elevated risk for severe outcomes among COVID-19 patients in Arkansas who had a history of any of the following:

  • kidney failure
  • immunocompromised conditions
  • serious heart conditions
  • diabetes

We also found an elevated risk of death for COVID-19 patients with dementia, particularly among those not in nursing homes. Most of our results confirm findings from other studies, but to our knowledge our finding of elevated risk of death among patients with dementia is a new contribution to the literature on COVID-19 comorbid conditions.

The Arkansas population is heavily burdened with many of the above conditions. Our findings will assist Arkansas physicians in advising patients on ways to mitigate their risk and potentially identify patients for enhanced protection and early vaccination, when available.

The authors of the study are Dr. Kanna Lewis, Dr. Anthony Goudie, Dr. Ronald Kahn, Dr. Jialiang Li, Dr. Austin Porter, Dr. Namvar Zohoori, and Dr. Joe Thompson.

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