Risk of death about four times higher from COVID-19 than influenza, study shows
Risk of death about four times higher from COVID-19 than influenza, study shows

Risk of death about four times higher from COVID-19 than influenza, study shows

April 23, 2022

2 min read


Lopez Montesinos I, et al. Abstract 01939. Presented at: European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; 23.-26. April 2022; Lisbon, Portugal (hybrid meeting).

Information: The authors do not report any relevant financial information.

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LISBON, Portugal – The risk of dying from COVID-19 is three to four times higher than that of influenza among inpatients in need of oxygen therapy, researchers found.

The researchers compared patient outcomes from several recent flu seasons with outcomes from patients admitted for 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 and influenza, ” Inmaculada 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 admitted with influenza from 2017 to 2019 with patients admitted with COVID-19 from March to May 2020. All participants needed oxygen at admission.

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

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

After adjusting for co-founders, the researchers found that COVID-19 was an independent risk factor for 30- (HR = 4.04; 95% CI, 1.86-8.77) and 90-day mortality (HR = 3.68; 95 % CI, 1.75-7.74).

COVID-19 was also found to be associated with a higher risk of serious infection and hospitalization in the intensive care unit compared with influenza (39% vs. 14%).

In addition, patients with COVID-19 had longer hospital stays (median 17 days [interquartile range (IQR) = 9-27] vs. 11 days [IQR = 8-17]) and the intensive care unit (median 15 days [IQR, 10-22] vs. 10 days [IQR, 6.75-15.5]) compared to patients with influenza.

Critical treatment costs almost twice as much for patients with COVID-19 compared to patients with influenza. Treatment and test prices were also significantly higher for COVID-19, the authors noted.

“Despite the fact that influenza patients were older and had more comorbid diseases, COVID-19 patients consistently had poorer health outcomes and were significantly more expensive to treat,” Montesinos said. “Even for those people who are lucky enough to survive COVID-19 and get out of the hospital, they will be forever scarred by the consequences. It is vital that people are fully vaccinated and boosted against both viruses. “

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