HealthDay News — Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are more often male and frequently have comorbidities, according to a study published online May 22 in the The BMJ.

Annemarie B. Docherty, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues characterized the clinical features of patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 during the growth phase of the first wave of the outbreak. Clinical data were obtained from 20,133 inpatients with COVID-19 from 208 acute care hospitals between Feb. 6 and April 19, 2020.

The researchers found that the median age of patients was 73 years. More men than women were admitted (60 versus 40 percent). There was a median of four days of symptoms before admission. The most common comorbidities were chronic cardiac disease, uncomplicated diabetes, nonasthmatic chronic pulmonary disease, and chronic kidney disease (31, 21, 18, and 16 percent, respectively); 23 percent reported no major comorbidity. Overall, 41 percent of patients were discharged alive, while 26 and 34 percent died and continued to receive care, respectively, at the reporting date. Seventeen percent of patients required admission to high-dependency or intensive care units; 28 percent of these patients were discharged alive and 32 and 41 percent died and continued to receive care, respectively, at the reporting date. Higher in-hospital mortality was seen in association with increasing age, male sex, and comorbidities, including chronic cardiac disease, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, and obesity.

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“Our study has shown the importance of forward planning and investment in preparedness studies,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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