Cancer patients may be twice as likely to get COVID-19, study finds

Cancer patients at a hospital in Wuhan, China, were twice as likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 as the general population, suggesting cancer patients may face a higher risk during the pandemic, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.

Researchers reviewed the medical records of 1,524 patients with cancer who were admitted to a hospital in Wuhan, from Dec. 30, 2019, to Feb. 17.

The estimated infection rate of the new coronavirus in cancer patients was 0.79 percent, twice the incidence of COVID-19 reported in the city of Wuhan over the same time period.

The median age of infected cancer patients was 66 years. About 58 percent of the patients with COVID-19 had non-small cell lung carcinoma.

"We propose that aggressive measures be undertaken to reduce frequency of hospital visits of patients with cancer during a viral epidemic going forward," study authors concluded.

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