Actual Number of Immunocompromised Americans May be Almost Triple What We Thought

As an immunocompromised person, I thought that this was interesting: The standard line is that under 3% of the U.S. population is immunocompromised either due to disease, to antirejection drugs associated with transplants, or to (frequently cancer) medical treatment.  But Melissa L. Martinson, Jessica Lapham, Prevalence of Immunosuppression Among US Adults (Feb. 15, 2024) suggests that the real number today — due to more immunosuppresive medical treatments? — actually may be over 6.6%:

Of the 29 164 (unweighted) eligible adults, 6.6% (95% CI, 6.2%-6.9%) (weighted) had current immunosuppression based on their reported health conditions, prescriptions, and medical treatments. The weighted prevalence was 4.4% for having an immunosuppressive condition, 3.9% for taking an immunosuppressive medication, and 1.8% for both; the weighted prevalence of having hematological cancer was 0.1%. These categories were not mutually exclusive.


[U]sing the 2021 NHIS, an estimated 6.6% of US adults had immunosuppression. This rate of immunosuppression was higher than the previous national estimate of 2.7% using the 2013 NHIS,1 yet the patterns in the distribution of immunosuppression by sex, race, and age were similar

It’s still a small minority, but it seems it’s a lot bigger than we thought.

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One Response to Actual Number of Immunocompromised Americans May be Almost Triple What We Thought

  1. Eric says:

    Anything is possible when it comes to millions of years of evolution and the human biome

    It is possible that cancer in dogs is sometimes caused by microscopic organisms too.

    I wonder if anti-parasitic medicine that could pass the blood brain barrier could be effective against glioblastoma. As microscopic animals have evolved for millions of years alongside their macroscopic companions, it makes sense to explore the possibility that some forms of cancer result from the spread of these animals’ eggs throughout the bloodstream. This may not be the case in every situation but if it saves even one life then it might just be worth trying.

    My review of the paper about infectious forms of Alzheimer’s disease gave me a disruptive idea.

    Just like Entamoeba gingivalis cause periodontitis, demodex mites cause acne and liver flukes cause bile duct cancer, it is quite possible that parasites are responsible for some forms of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Although not fully understood, amyloid beta has considered to be “an early responder cytokine and immunopeptide of the innate immune system” which implies it is an immune response to a foreign invader. Just like a macrophage engulfs a foreign cell, it is quite possible that amyloid beta clumps are the result of a similar process.

    Therefore, it seems quite possible that the cadaver-derived human growth hormone that caused Alzheimer’s disease was infected with some sort of organism that colonized the brain over time. What else explains the reproduction of a cluster of cells other than a virus, bacteria or animal parasite? It might be beneficial to use a scanning electron microscope to search for animals as small as Tardigrades or perhaps perform stool samples to test for parasitic infection in the body (though not all parasites are detectable this way).

    Out of an abundance of caution, perhaps the medical community could utilize anti-parasitic medication as a possible treatment of this condition before it is too late.

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