COVID-19 Risk Factors for Cancer Patients: A First Report with Comparator Data from COVID-19 Negative Cancer Patients

Beth Russell, Charlotte L Moss, Kieran Palmer, Rushan Sylva, Andrea D'Souza, Harriet Wylie, Anna Haire, Fidelma Cahill, Renee Steel, Angela Hoyes, Isabelle Wilson, Alyson Macneil, Belul Shifa, Maria J Monroy-Iglesias, Sophie Papa, Sheeba Irshad, Paul Ross, James Spicer, Shahram Kordasti, Danielle CrawleyKamarul Zaki, Ailsa Sita-Lumsden, Debra Josephs, Deborah Enting, Angela Swampillai, Elinor Sawyer, Paul Fields, David Wrench, Anne Rigg, Richard Sullivan, Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Saoirse Dolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Very few studies investigating COVID-19 in cancer patients have included cancer patients as controls. We aimed to identify factors associated with the risk of testing positive for SARS CoV2 infection in a cohort of cancer patients. We analyzed data from all cancer patients swabbed for COVID-19 between 1st March and 31st July 2020 at Guy's Cancer Centre. We conducted logistic regression analyses to identify which factors were associated with a positive COVID-19 test. Results: Of the 2152 patients tested for COVID-19, 190 (9%) tested positive. Male sex, black ethnicity, and hematological cancer type were positively associated with risk of COVID-19 (OR = 1.85, 95%CI:1.37-2.51; OR = 1.93, 95%CI:1.31-2.84; OR = 2.29, 95%CI:1.45-3.62, respectively) as compared to females, white ethnicity, or solid cancer type, respectively. Male, Asian ethnicity, and hematological cancer type were associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19 (OR = 3.12, 95%CI:1.58-6.14; OR = 2.97, 95%CI:1.00-8.93; OR = 2.43, 95%CI:1.00-5.90, respectively). This study is one of the first to compare the risk of COVID-19 incidence and severity in cancer patients when including cancer patients as controls. Results from this study have echoed those of previous reports, that patients who are male, of black or Asian ethnicity, or with a hematological malignancy are at an increased risk of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2479
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2021


  • Cancer
  • COVID‐19
  • Risk factors


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