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Report spotlights impact of COVID-19 on adults with disabilitiesRates of COVID-19 hospitalization among adult Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities were almost 50% higher than rates among elderly beneficiaries with no disability, according to a study today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).To describe the impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and whether and how age contributes to disease rates, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assessed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations from January 2020 to November 2021.

The study included adult (age 18 and older) Medicare beneficiaries who were either eligible because of a disability (disability-eligible) or eligible solely because of older age—65 years or older (age-eligible).Medicare is the US federal health insurance program for people aged 65 or older, but younger people with certain disabilities can also qualify.During the study period, COVID-19 incidence was 10,978 per 100,000 population in the disability-eligible group, compared to 8,102 in the age-eligible cohort—or 35.5% higher.

COVID hospitalization rates were 3,148 and 2,129 per 100,000, respectively, which is 47.9% higher.COVID-19 incidence and hospitalization rates increased with age in both groups.

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