Background: A question that was commonly investigated during the COVID-19 pandemic was which clinical characteristics would make one more susceptible to contracting COVID-19? This was especially a concern for those who were considered "high risk" as they would be more prone to suffering from more severe COVID-19 symptoms and at times even death. In this abstract, we investigated which clinical characteristics of multiple myeloma (MM) cancer patients could make them more prone to contracting COVID-19. We also investigated which of these conditions make patients more at risk for experiencing more severe COVID-19 symptoms (PMID: 32950467, PMID: 32353254). Knowing what medical conditions that would make a patient more at risk for contracting or experiencing a more severe case of COVID-19 has been a concern for many, especially for those who suffer from more severe health conditions such as cancer.

Methods: MM patient data and demographics were collected through HealthTree ® Cure Hub for Multiple Myeloma. We analyzed medical conditions including hypertension, heart condition, neuropathy condition, and BMI. We also looked into lung condition, kidney condition, diabetes, stroke, smoking history, drug use history, HIV, and Mediterranean descent but did not include in the figure due to small population sizes. We determined whether a patient had to be hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, needed oxygen therapy, or needed a D-dimer test as a severe COVID-19 case. Multivariable logistic regressions were performed to quantify the risk for contracting COVID-19 for patients with specific medical conditions and which medical conditions made COVID-19 positive patients more at risk for experiencing a more severe case of COVID-19.

Results: Out of the 962 patients that were involved in this study, we found that patients who were overweight were 2% more likely to contract COVID-19 than those who were not overweight. Other medical conditions did not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. Furthermore, there were 35 patients that were involved in investigating how certain medical conditions may affect the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. We found that overweight patients were 12% more likely to suffer from more severe COVID-19 than those not overweight. Patients who suffered from neuropathy conditions were 3% more likely to experience a more severe COVID-19 case than those who do not have that condition. It is important to note that these results were not statistically significant, although are still informative.

Conclusion: Our results show that MM patients who are overweight have a greater tendency to not only contract COVID-19 but experience a more severe case of COVID-19. Somewhat surprisingly, we found that patients who experience neuropathy, common among MM patients, had a higher tendency to experience a more severe case of COVID-19. We speculate whether MM patients, a high-risk group due to their immunocompromised state, took extra care to follow safety recommendations and caution to avoid contracting COVID-19. A logical next step would be to compare medical condition interactions to examine whether patients with more than one condition experience additive or synergistic risk, as well as comparing out results to other high-risk groups. These findings, although not statistically significant, may help MM patients identify which of their own medical conditions may put them more at risk for contracting COVID-19 and thus take precautionary measures.


Ahlstrom:Takeda: Other: Patient Advisory; Pfizer: Other: Patient Advisory; Janssen: Other: Patient Advisory; Bristol Myers Squibb: Other: Patient Advisory.

Sign in via your Institution