Risk of death about four times higher from COVID-19 than flu, study finds

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April 23, 2022

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Source/Disclosures

Source:

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 information.


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LISBON, Portugal — The risk of death from COVID-19 is three to four times higher than that of the flu in hospitalized patients requiring oxygen therapy, researchers have found.

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

“Our results suggest that COVID-19 is far more deadly than the flu,” Immaculate Lopez Montesinos, MDfrom Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, ​​Spain, said in a press release announcing the results.

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

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

After adjusting for co-founders, researchers found COVID-19 to be an independent risk factor for mortality at 30 – (HR = 4.04; 95% CI, 1.86-8.77) and at 90 days (HR=3.68; 95% CI, 1.75-7.74).

COVID-19 has also been shown to be associated with a higher risk of serious infection and ICU admission compared to influenza (39% vs. 14%).

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

Intensive care costs almost twice as much for patients with COVID-19 as for patients with influenza. Prices for treatments and tests were also significantly higher for COVID-19, the authors noted.

“Although influenza patients were older and had more comorbid illnesses, patients with COVID-19 had consistently worse health outcomes and were significantly more expensive to treat,” Montesinos said. “Even for people who are lucky enough to survive COVID-19 and be discharged from hospital, they will be forever scarred by the consequences. It is vital that people are fully vaccinated and strengthened against both viruses. »

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