Introduction: Hemodialysis (HD) patients are at increased risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and clinical symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection in HD patients.
Patients and Methods: This is a single-center study conducted at HD center, in Ilam, Iran. The study was included 87 HD patients to be tested. SARS-CoV-2 infection was diagnosed with confirmed test by rRT-PCR (real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) assay.
Results: Around 35.63% of HD patients were diagnosed as COVID-19 infection; most of them were male (74.4%). Dyspnea (58.1%) and cough (45.2%) were the most common symptoms among HD cases with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Diabetes (16.1%) and hypertension (19.4%) were the most coexisting medical illnesses. About 12.9% of patients needed ICU care. Additionally, 16.1% of our patients died, which all of them were male.
Conclusion: This study showed a high prevalence of COVID-19 among our HD group, accompanied by mild symptoms. The HD population is probably among the most sensitive and high-risk groups for COVID-19 because of advanced age, comorbidities disease, low-immune function and frequent required visits, and patient overload in HD centers. Preventive measures should be taken in order to minimize the virus transmission in dialysis centers.