Higher Rates of COVID-19 Mortality for Patients with Multiple Myeloma

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According to new data published in Blood, patients with multiple myeloma (MM) who are hospitalized for COVID-19 infection face higher mortality compared with patients without MM, with age, disease status, and renal involvement serving as predictors of worse outcomes.

MM is a hematological cancer of the plasma cells, particularly within bone marrow. Immunosuppression often presents alongside MM, and infections are a common cause of morbidity and death in this patient population. Due to this, it is important to understand the relationship between MM and COVID-19-related outcomes, especially regarding susceptibility and the effect of therapy on infection.

This retrospective study utilizes data from the International Myeloma Society MM COVID-19 data set. In total, the study included 650 patients with plasma disorders from 10 different countries. All patients had lab-confirmed positive SARS-CoV-2 infections. The median age of participants was 69 years, and 96% had MM. Around 36% were recently diagnosed and 54% were receiving first-line therapy.

At time of analysis, 33% of participants have died, with geographic variability across centers, ranging from 27% to 57% of hospitalized patients.

The researchers identified age, late-stage or high-risk disease, renal disease, progressive disease, and one or more comorbidities as risk factors for higher rates of mortality. Of these factors, age, high-risk disease, renal disease, and progressive disease were independent predictors of adverse outcomes of COVID-19 infection.

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