Comparative evaluation of clinical manifestations and risk of death in patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 and seasonal influenza: cohort study

Yan Xie, Benjamin Bowe, Geetha Maddukuri, Ziyad Al-Aly

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To comparatively examine differences in risk of clinical manifestations and death among people admitted to hospital with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) and seasonal influenza. DESIGN Cohort study. SETTING US Department of Veterans Affairs. PARTICIPANTS Patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 between 1 February 2020 and 17 June 2020 (n=3641) and seasonal influenza between 2017 and 2019 (n=12 676). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Risks of clinical manifestations, healthcare resource use (including use of mechanical ventilation, admission to intensive care, and length of stay), and death, estimated using a doubly robust approach to build propensity scores that were then used along with covariates to adjust the outcome models. RESULTS Compared with seasonal influenza, covid-19 was associated with higher risk of acute kidney injury (odds ratio 1.52, 95% confidence interval 1.37 to 1.69), incident renal replacement therapy (4.11, 3.13 to 5.40), incident insulin use (1.86, 1.62 to 2.14), severe septic shock (4.04, 3.38 to 4.83), vasopressor use (3.95, 3.46 to 4.51), pulmonary embolism (1.50, 1.18 to 1.90), deep venous thrombosis (1.50, 1.20 to 1.88), stroke (1.62, 1.17 to 2.24), acute myocarditis (7.82, 3.53 to 17.36), arrythmias and sudden cardiac death (1.76, 1.40 to 2.20), elevated troponin (1.75, 1.50 to 2.05), elevated aspartate aminotransferase (3.16, 2.91 to 3.43), elevated alanine aminotransferase (2.65, 2.43 to 2.88), and rhabdomyolysis (1.84, 1.54 to 2.18). Compared with seasonal influenza, covid-19 was also associated with higher risk of death, mechanical ventilator use, and admission to intensive care (hazard ratio 4.97, (95% confidence interval 4.42 to 5.58), 4.01 (3.53 to 4.54), and 2.41 (2.25 to 2.59), respectively) and 3.00 (2.20 to 3.80) additional days of hospital stay. Differences in rates of death per 100 patients between covid-19 and seasonal influenza were most pronounced in people over 75 years of age with chronic kidney disease or dementia and those with black race and obesity, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. CONCLUSIONS Among people admitted to hospital, compared with seasonal influenza, covid-19 was associated with increased risk of extrapulmonary organ dysfunction, death, and increased health resource use. The findings may inform the global discussion about the comparative risks of covid-19 and seasonal influenza and may help the ongoing effort to manage the covid-19 global pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberm4677
JournalThe BMJ
Volume371
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2020

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