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      Characteristics and outcomes of hospital admissions for COVID-19 and influenza in the Toronto area


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          Patient characteristics, clinical care, resource use and outcomes associated with admission to hospital for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Canada are not well described.


          We described all adults with COVID-19 or influenza discharged from inpatient medical services and medical–surgical intensive care units (ICUs) between Nov. 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, at 7 hospitals in Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario. We compared patient outcomes using multivariable regression models, controlling for patient sociodemographic factors and comorbidity level. We validated the accuracy of 7 externally developed risk scores to predict mortality among patients with COVID-19.


          There were 1027 hospital admissions with COVID-19 (median age 65 yr, 59.1% male) and 783 with influenza (median age 68 yr, 50.8% male). Patients younger than 50 years accounted for 21.2% of all admissions for COVID-19 and 24.0% of ICU admissions. Compared with influenza, patients with COVID-19 had significantly greater in-hospital mortality (unadjusted 19.9% v. 6.1%, adjusted relative risk [RR] 3.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.56–4.68), ICU use (unadjusted 26.4% v. 18.0%, adjusted RR 1.50, 95% CI 1.25–1.80) and hospital length of stay (unadjusted median 8.7 d v. 4.8 d, adjusted rate ratio 1.45, 95% CI 1.25–1.69). Thirty-day readmission was not significantly different (unadjusted 9.3% v. 9.6%, adjusted RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.70–1.39). Three points-based risk scores for predicting in-hospital mortality showed good discrimination (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] ranging from 0.72 to 0.81) and calibration.


          During the first wave of the pandemic, admission to hospital for COVID-19 was associated with significantly greater mortality, ICU use and hospital length of stay than influenza. Simple risk scores can predict in-hospital mortality in patients with COVID-19 with good accuracy.

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          Most cited references57

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          Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study

          Summary Background Since December, 2019, Wuhan, China, has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 have been reported but risk factors for mortality and a detailed clinical course of illness, including viral shedding, have not been well described. Methods In this retrospective, multicentre cohort study, we included all adult inpatients (≥18 years old) with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from Jinyintan Hospital and Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital (Wuhan, China) who had been discharged or had died by Jan 31, 2020. Demographic, clinical, treatment, and laboratory data, including serial samples for viral RNA detection, were extracted from electronic medical records and compared between survivors and non-survivors. We used univariable and multivariable logistic regression methods to explore the risk factors associated with in-hospital death. Findings 191 patients (135 from Jinyintan Hospital and 56 from Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital) were included in this study, of whom 137 were discharged and 54 died in hospital. 91 (48%) patients had a comorbidity, with hypertension being the most common (58 [30%] patients), followed by diabetes (36 [19%] patients) and coronary heart disease (15 [8%] patients). Multivariable regression showed increasing odds of in-hospital death associated with older age (odds ratio 1·10, 95% CI 1·03–1·17, per year increase; p=0·0043), higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score (5·65, 2·61–12·23; p<0·0001), and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL (18·42, 2·64–128·55; p=0·0033) on admission. Median duration of viral shedding was 20·0 days (IQR 17·0–24·0) in survivors, but SARS-CoV-2 was detectable until death in non-survivors. The longest observed duration of viral shedding in survivors was 37 days. Interpretation The potential risk factors of older age, high SOFA score, and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL could help clinicians to identify patients with poor prognosis at an early stage. Prolonged viral shedding provides the rationale for a strategy of isolation of infected patients and optimal antiviral interventions in the future. Funding Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences; National Science Grant for Distinguished Young Scholars; National Key Research and Development Program of China; The Beijing Science and Technology Project; and Major Projects of National Science and Technology on New Drug Creation and Development.
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            Dexamethasone in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19 — Preliminary Report

            Abstract Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is associated with diffuse lung damage. Glucocorticoids may modulate inflammation-mediated lung injury and thereby reduce progression to respiratory failure and death. Methods In this controlled, open-label trial comparing a range of possible treatments in patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19, we randomly assigned patients to receive oral or intravenous dexamethasone (at a dose of 6 mg once daily) for up to 10 days or to receive usual care alone. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. Here, we report the preliminary results of this comparison. Results A total of 2104 patients were assigned to receive dexamethasone and 4321 to receive usual care. Overall, 482 patients (22.9%) in the dexamethasone group and 1110 patients (25.7%) in the usual care group died within 28 days after randomization (age-adjusted rate ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75 to 0.93; P<0.001). The proportional and absolute between-group differences in mortality varied considerably according to the level of respiratory support that the patients were receiving at the time of randomization. In the dexamethasone group, the incidence of death was lower than that in the usual care group among patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (29.3% vs. 41.4%; rate ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.81) and among those receiving oxygen without invasive mechanical ventilation (23.3% vs. 26.2%; rate ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.94) but not among those who were receiving no respiratory support at randomization (17.8% vs. 14.0%; rate ratio, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.55). Conclusions In patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the use of dexamethasone resulted in lower 28-day mortality among those who were receiving either invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen alone at randomization but not among those receiving no respiratory support. (Funded by the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research and others; RECOVERY ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04381936; ISRCTN number, 50189673.)
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              Presenting Characteristics, Comorbidities, and Outcomes Among 5700 Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19 in the New York City Area

              There is limited information describing the presenting characteristics and outcomes of US patients requiring hospitalization for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

                Author and article information

                CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal
                Joule Inc.
                22 March 2021
                10 February 2021
                : 193
                : 12
                : E410-E418
                Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute (Verma, Hora, Jung, Chan, Mamdani, Razak), St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto; Department of Medicine (Verma, Fralick, Malecki, Lapointe-Shaw, Weinerman, Tang, Kwan, Liu, Rawal, Cheung, Herridge, Mamdani, Razak), and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (Verma, Cheung, Mamdani, Razak), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.; Department of Geography and Environmental Management (Hora), University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ont.; Department of Medicine (Fralick, Kwan), Sinai Health System; Department of Medicine (Lapointe-Shaw, Liu, Rawal, Cheung, Herridge) and Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (Lapointe-Shaw), University Health Network; Women’s Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (Lapointe-Shaw), Women’s College Hospital; ICES Central (Lapointe-Shaw, Rosella); Department of Medicine (Weinerman), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Institute for Better Health (Tang, Rosella), Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga, Ont.; Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (Chan), University of Toronto; Joint Department of Medical Imaging (Cheung), University Health Network; Division of Epidemiology (Cheung, Rosella), Dalla Lana School of Public Health; Vector Institute (Rosella, Ghassemi); Department of Computer Science (Ghassemi) and Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy (Mamdani), University of Toronto, Ont.
                Author notes
                © 2021 Joule Inc. or its licensors

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original publication is properly cited, the use is noncommercial (i.e., research or educational use), and no modifications or adaptations are made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

                : 28 January 2021


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