Infectious Disease

Risk for death around four times higher from COVID-19 than flu, study finds

April 23, 2022

2 min read

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sources:

Lopez Montesinos I, et al. Abstract 01939. Presented at: European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; April 23-26, 2022; Lisbon, Portugal (hybrid meeting).

Disclosures:
The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

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LISBON, Portugal — The risk for death from COVID-19 is three to four times higher than it is from influenza among hospitalized patients requiring oxygen therapy, researchers found.

The researchers compared patient outcomes from several recent influenza seasons with outcomes from patients hospitalized for COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic. They presented the findings at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

“Our findings suggest COVID-19 is far more lethal than influenza,” Inmaculada Lopez Montesinos, MDof the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, ​​Spain, said in a news release announcing the findings.

Montesinos and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study comparing the medical records of patients hospitalized with influenza from 2017 to 2019 with those of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from March to May 2020. All participants required oxygen at admission.

The 187 patients with influenza had an average age of 76 years, and 55% were male. The 187 patients with COVID-19 were younger, with an average age of 67 years, and 49% were male. The researchers also analyzed clinical characteristics of the patients, their length of stay and the hospital costs associated with their treatment.

After 30 days, 15% of patients with COVID-19 (n = 29) and 5% of patients with influenza (n = 10) had died, the researchers reported. After 90 days, 19% of patients with COVID-19 (n = 35) and 6% of patients with influenza (n = 12) had died.

After adjusting for cofounders, the researchers found that COVID-19 was an independent risk factor for 30- (HR = 4.04; 95% CI, 1.86-8.77) and 90-day mortality (HR = 3.68; 95% CI, 1.75-7.74). ).

COVID-19 was also shown to be associated with a higher risk for severe infection and admission to the ICU compared with influenza (39% vs. 14%).

Additionally, patients with COVID-19 had a longer length of stay in the hospital (median 17 days [interquartile range (IQR) = 9-27] vs. 11 days [IQR = 8-17]) and the ICU (median 15 days [IQR, 10-22] vs. 10 days [IQR, 6.75-15.5]) compared with patients with influenza.

Critical care cost almost twice as much for patients with COVID-19 compared with patients with influenza. Treatment and test prices were also significantly higher for COVID-19, the authors noted.

“Despite influenza patients being older and having more comorbid illnesses, COVID-19 patients had consistently worse health outcomes and were considerably more expensive to treat,” Montesinos said. “Even for those people who are lucky enough to survive COVID-19 and make it out of the hospital, they will be forever scarred by the consequences. It is vital that people get fully vaccinated and boosted against both viruses.”

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European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

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