Family History of Alzheimer’s Disease Increases the Risk of COVID-19 Positivity: A SUMS Employees Cohort-based Study
Background: Substantial data indicate that genetic and environmental factors play a key role in determining the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Moreover, it is known that having relatives with AD increases the risk of developing this disease.
Objective: This study is aimed at investigating whether having a family history of AD, may increase the risk of COVID-19 in a cohort-based study.
Material and Methods: Participants of this retrospective cohort study were previously enrolled in the SUMS Employees Cohort (SUMSEC). All participants including those whose SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed by positive PCR test and chest CT scan were requested to respond to interviewer-administered questionnaires. Moreover, AD was diagnosed via memory and thinking impairment, concentration problems, confusion with location, and problems in finishing daily tasks.
Results: The total numbers of female and male participants with a family history of AD were 463 and 222 individuals, respectively. When all types of family history of AD were considered, a 51.3% increase was found in the relative frequency of the participants with both family history of AD and confirmed COVID-19 compared with those only with a family history of AD.
Conclusion: Despite the limitations of our study, and from a broader perspective, our findings can further support the concept that AD risk haplotypes including APOE are linked to the same morbidities from cardiovascular disease and obesity that increase vulnerability to COVID-19. Given this consideration, millions of APOE ε4 carriers around the globe should be advised to take additional precautions to prevent life-threatening diseases such as COVID-19.