BP and diabetes greatest risk factors of death from COVID-19, confirms study; What’s next

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients have a greater risk of death if they are men or if they are obese or have complications from diabetes or hypertension, confirmed a new study conducted by University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers after evaluating nearly 67,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in 613 hospitals across the US.

In a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the researchers found that men had a 30 percent higher risk of dying compared to women of the same age and health status. Hospitalized patients who were obese, had hypertension or poorly managed diabetes had a higher risk of dying compared to those who did not have these conditions. Those aged 20 to 39 with these conditions had the biggest difference in their risk of dying compared to their healthier peers.

“Predicting which hospitalized COVID-19 patients have the highest risk of dying has taken on urgent importance as cases and hospitalizations in the U.S. continue to surge to record high numbers during the month of December,” said study corresponding author Anthony D. Harris. Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at UMSOM.

Remdesvir

For example, higher-risk patients may be given the drug remdesivir earlier in their hospitalization to help prevent severe complications or may be considered for closer monitoring or ICU admission. Healthcare providers may also want to consider these risks when determining which COVID-19 patients could benefit the most from the new monoclonal antibody therapies that, if given in the first few days of the infection, can reduce the risk of hospitalization.

Age remained the strongest predictor of mortality from COVID-19. Overall, nearly 19 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients died from their infection with the lowest mortality among pediatric patients, which was less than 2 percent. Mortality rates increased with each decade of life with the highest mortality, 34 percent, among those aged 80 and older.

“Older patients still have the highest risk of dying, but younger patients with obesity or hypertension have the highest risk of dying relative to other patients their age without these conditions,” said study lead author Katherine E. Goodman, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UMSOM.

 

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