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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Sep 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant (B.1.1.7) is associated with higher transmissibility than wild type virus, becoming the dominant variant in England by January 2021. We aimed to describe the severity of the alpha variant in terms of the pathway of disease from testing positive to hospital admission and death. METHODS: With the approval of NHS England, we linked individual-level data from primary care with SARS-CoV-2 community testing, hospital admission, and ONS all-cause death data. We used testing data with S-gene target failure as a proxy for distinguishing alpha and wild-type cases, and stratified Cox proportional hazards regression to compare the relative severity of alpha cases compared to wild type diagnosed from 16th November 2020 to 11th January 2021. RESULTS: Using data from 185,234 people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the community (alpha=93,153; wild-type=92,081), in fully adjusted analysis accounting for individual-level demographics and comorbidities as well as regional variation in infection incidence, we found alpha associated with 73% higher hazards of all-cause death (aHR: 1.73 (95% CI 1.41 - 2.13; P<.0001)) and 62% higher hazards of hospital admission (aHR: 1.62 ((95% CI 1.48 - 1.78; P<.0001), compared to wild-type virus. Among patients already admitted to ICU, the association between alpha and increased all-cause mortality was smaller and the confidence interval included the null (aHR: 1.20 (95% CI 0.74 - 1.95; P=0.45)). CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant is associated with an increased risk of both hospitalisation and mortality than wild-type virus.

2.
Wellcome Open Res ; 6: 90, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1395316

ABSTRACT

Background: Care home residents have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Electronic Health Records (EHR) hold significant potential for studying the healthcare needs of this vulnerable population; however, identifying care home residents in EHR is not straightforward. We describe and compare three different methods for identifying care home residents in the newly created OpenSAFELY-TPP data analytics platform.  Methods: Working on behalf of NHS England, we identified individuals aged 65 years or older potentially living in a care home on the 1st of February 2020 using (1) a complex address linkage, in which cleaned GP registered addresses were matched to old age care home addresses using data from the Care and Quality Commission (CQC); (2) coded events in the EHR; (3) household identifiers, age and household size to identify households with more than 3 individuals aged 65 years or older as potential care home residents. Raw addresses were not available to the investigators. Results: Of 4,437,286 individuals aged 65 years or older, 2.27% were identified as potential care home residents using the complex address linkage, 1.96% using coded events, 3.13% using household size and age and 3.74% using either of these methods. 53,210 individuals (32.0% of all potential care home residents) were classified as care home residents using all three methods. Address linkage had the largest overlap with the other methods; 93.3% of individuals identified as care home residents using the address linkage were also identified as such using either coded events or household age and size.  Conclusion: We have described the partial overlap between three methods for identifying care home residents in EHR, and provide detailed instructions for how to implement these in OpenSAFELY-TPP to support research into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on care home residents.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Sep 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1393220

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant (B.1.1.7) is associated with higher transmissibility than wild type virus, becoming the dominant variant in England by January 2021. We aimed to describe the severity of the alpha variant in terms of the pathway of disease from testing positive to hospital admission and death. METHODS: With the approval of NHS England, we linked individual-level data from primary care with SARS-CoV-2 community testing, hospital admission, and ONS all-cause death data. We used testing data with S-gene target failure as a proxy for distinguishing alpha and wild-type cases, and stratified Cox proportional hazards regression to compare the relative severity of alpha cases compared to wild type diagnosed from 16th November 2020 to 11th January 2021. RESULTS: Using data from 185,234 people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the community (alpha=93,153; wild-type=92,081), in fully adjusted analysis accounting for individual-level demographics and comorbidities as well as regional variation in infection incidence, we found alpha associated with 73% higher hazards of all-cause death (aHR: 1.73 (95% CI 1.41 - 2.13; P<.0001)) and 62% higher hazards of hospital admission (aHR: 1.62 ((95% CI 1.48 - 1.78; P<.0001), compared to wild-type virus. Among patients already admitted to ICU, the association between alpha and increased all-cause mortality was smaller and the confidence interval included the null (aHR: 1.20 (95% CI 0.74 - 1.95; P=0.45)). CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant is associated with an increased risk of both hospitalisation and mortality than wild-type virus.

4.
Euro Surveill ; 26(11)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143384

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant of concern (VOC) is increasing in prevalence across Europe. Accurate estimation of disease severity associated with this VOC is critical for pandemic planning. We found increased risk of death for VOC compared with non-VOC cases in England (hazard ratio: 1.67; 95% confidence interval: 1.34-2.09; p < 0.0001). Absolute risk of death by 28 days increased with age and comorbidities. This VOC has potential to spread faster with higher mortality than the pandemic to date.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Age Factors , Comorbidity , England/epidemiology , Humans
5.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 484, 2021 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133589

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Characterising the size and distribution of the population at risk of severe COVID-19 is vital for effective policy and planning. Older age, and underlying health conditions, are associated with higher risk of death from COVID-19. This study aimed to describe the population at risk of severe COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions across the United Kingdom. METHODS: We used anonymised electronic health records from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD to estimate the point prevalence on 5 March 2019 of the at-risk population following national guidance. Prevalence for any risk condition and for each individual condition is given overall and stratified by age and region with binomial exact confidence intervals. We repeated the analysis on 5 March 2014 for full regional representation and to describe prevalence of underlying health conditions in pregnancy. We additionally described the population of cancer survivors, and assessed the value of linked secondary care records for ascertaining COVID-19 at-risk status. RESULTS: On 5 March 2019, 24.4% of the UK population were at risk due to a record of at least one underlying health condition, including 8.3% of school-aged children, 19.6% of working-aged adults, and 66.2% of individuals aged 70 years or more. 7.1% of the population had multimorbidity. The size of the at-risk population was stable over time comparing 2014 to 2019, despite increases in chronic liver disease and diabetes and decreases in chronic kidney disease and current asthma. Separately, 1.6% of the population had a new diagnosis of cancer in the past 5 y. CONCLUSIONS: The population at risk of severe COVID-19 (defined as either aged ≥70 years, or younger with an underlying health condition) comprises 18.5 million individuals in the UK, including a considerable proportion of school-aged and working-aged individuals. Our national estimates broadly support the use of Global Burden of Disease modelled estimates in other countries. We provide age- and region- stratified prevalence for each condition to support effective modelling of public health interventions and planning of vaccine resource allocation. The high prevalence of health conditions among older age groups suggests that age-targeted vaccination strategies may efficiently target individuals at higher risk of severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Status , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Child , Chronic Disease/epidemiology , Electronic Health Records , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multimorbidity , Pregnancy , Prevalence , Public Health , Risk Factors , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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