News: Hypertension, obesity, diabetes are top COVID-19 comorbidities, EHR data says

CDI Strategies - Volume 14, Issue 18

A study of 5,700 hospitalized COVID-19 patients’ EHR data found that 56% had hypertension, 41.7% were obese, and 33.8% had diabetes. These three conditions were the most common comorbidities in the hospitalized COVID-19 population.

The study was conducted at hospitals in Northwell Health, “the largest academic health system in New York,” chosen because the state has become the epicenter for the pandemic in the United States. Researchers collected information on the patients’ demographics, initial laboratory tests, treatments, and other key data points.

The results also showed that of the patients who died, those with diabetes were more likely to have received invasive mechanical ventilation, care in the intensive care unit, or develop acute kidney injury compared to those who did not have diabetes.

The majority of patients in the study were male with a median age of 63 years old.

“To our knowledge, this study represents the first large case series of sequentially hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 in the U.S.,” researchers said. They noted that older persons, men, and those with pre-existing hypertension and/or diabetes were highly prevalent in the case series. While this pattern is similar to the data reported from China, the mortality rate was significantly lower, “possibly due to differences in thresholds for hospitalization.”

Researchers wrote that “this study reported mortality rates only for patients with definite outcomes (discharge or death), and longer-term study may find different mortality rates.” The results, nonetheless, provide a valuable view into the link between comorbid conditions and COVID-19 outcomes.

Editor’s note: This study was originally published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. To read ACDIS’ coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

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