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Daily Dose: Hospitalization for COVID-19 vs for Flu Linked to More Long-Term Outcomes

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Daily Dose: Hospitalization for COVID-19 vs for Flu Linked to More Long-Term Outcomes / Image Credit: ©New Africa/AdobeStock
©New Africa/AdobeStock

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.


Last week, we reported on findings from a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases that examined the acute and long-term risks and burdens of death, health care utilization, and a comprehensive array of 94 health outcomes in persons hospitalized with COVID-9 and those hospitalized with seasonal influenza.

The study

Researchers tapped the US Veterans Administration (VA) health care databases, collecting data from 81 280 participants with a hospital admission for COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022, and 10 985 participants admitted for seasonal influenza between Oct 1, 2015, and Feb 28, 2019.

Mean age in both groups was 70 years and more than 90% of participants in both groups were men. Approximately three-quarters of each group was White. Participants were followed up for up to 18 months.

The findings

Over 18 months of follow-up, compared to participants in the influenza group, those in the COVID-19 group had a 51.1% greater risk of mortality, corresponding to an excess mortality rate of 8.62 (95% CI, 7.55-9.44) per 100 persons at 540 days post-hospitalization.

Further, when the researchers compared the incidence of a set of 94 prespecified health outcomes that could be sequelae of either COVID-19 or seasonal influenza, those with the former had an increased risk of 64 of the 94 (68.1%) while there was an increased risk of just 6 of the 94 outcomes (6.4%) among those hospitalized for influenza.

Across all organ systems for the 18-month follow-up period, COVID-19 was associated with an excess rate of adverse health outcomes of 78.7 per 100 persons compared with seasonal influenza.

Authors' comment

"The substantial cumulative burden of health loss in both groups highlights the need for greater prevention of hospital admission for these two viruses and for greater attention towards the care needs of people with long-term health effects due to
either seasonal influenza or SARS-CoV-2 infection."

Click here for more details.


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