Patients hospitalised with COVID-19 were more likely male, younger and – in the US and Spain – had fewer comorbidities and lower medication use than hospitalized influenza patients according to a study published by the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) community.
This global network study, which included more than 34,000 COVID-19 patients from across three continents, is intended to provide greater detail about the characteristics of patients suffering from the disease, and also to help inform decision-making around the care of hospitalized patients.
The study, published by Nature Communications, was supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
Patients hospitalised with COVID-19 were more typically male in the US and Spain, but more often female in South Korea. The ages of patients varied, but in Spain and the US, the most common age groups were between 60 and 75. Patients hospitalised with influenza were typically older than those hospitalized with COVID-19, and more likely to be female.
Many of the patients hospitalised with COVID-19 were seen to have other health conditions. For example, the prevalence of hypertensive disorder ranged from 24% to 70%, diabetes from 13% to 43%, and asthma from 4% to 15%, across data sources.
Despite this, however, when compared to patients hospitalized with influenza in recent years, those with COVID-19 were seen to generally be healthier. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease and dementia were all more common among those hospitalized with influenza compared to those hospitalised with COVID-19.
“This study has allowed us to better understand the profiles of patients hospitalized with COVID-19” says co-lead author Professor Edward Burn, of the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences.
“Despite recent discourse around the supposed poor health and limited life expectancy of COVID-19 patients, we see COVID-19 patients to be in no worse health than those typically hospitalised with influenza. This further highlights the high rate of mortality among COVID-19 patients.”