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PLoS One ; 15(11): e0241825, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-919031


BACKGROUND: Available COVID-19 mortality indices are limited to acute inpatient data. Using nationwide medical administrative data available prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection from the US Veterans Health Administration (VA), we developed the VA COVID-19 (VACO) 30-day mortality index and validated the index in two independent, prospective samples. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We reviewed SARS-CoV-2 testing results within the VA between February 8 and August 18, 2020. The sample was split into a development cohort (test positive between March 2 and April 15, 2020), an early validation cohort (test positive between April 16 and May 18, 2020), and a late validation cohort (test positive between May 19 and July 19, 2020). Our logistic regression model in the development cohort considered demographics (age, sex, race/ethnicity), and pre-existing medical conditions and the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) derived from ICD-10 diagnosis codes. Weights were fixed to create the VACO Index that was then validated by comparing area under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) in the early and late validation cohorts and among important validation cohort subgroups defined by sex, race/ethnicity, and geographic region. We also evaluated calibration curves and the range of predictions generated within age categories. 13,323 individuals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (median age: 63 years; 91% male; 42% non-Hispanic Black). We observed 480/3,681 (13%) deaths in development, 253/2,151 (12%) deaths in the early validation cohort, and 403/7,491 (5%) deaths in the late validation cohort. Age, multimorbidity described with CCI, and a history of myocardial infarction or peripheral vascular disease were independently associated with mortality-no other individual comorbid diagnosis provided additional information. The VACO Index discriminated mortality in development (AUC = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.77-0.81), and in early (AUC = 0.81 95% CI: 0.78-0.83) and late (AUC = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.78-0.86) validation. The VACO Index allows personalized estimates of 30-day mortality after COVID-19 infection. For example, among those aged 60-64 years, overall mortality was estimated at 9% (95% CI: 6-11%). The Index further discriminated risk in this age stratum from 4% (95% CI: 3-7%) to 21% (95% CI: 12-31%), depending on sex and comorbid disease. CONCLUSION: Prior to infection, demographics and comorbid conditions can discriminate COVID-19 mortality risk overall and within age strata. The VACO Index reproducibly identified individuals at substantial risk of COVID-19 mortality who might consider continuing social distancing, despite relaxed state and local guidelines.

Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Area Under Curve , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , ROC Curve , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Veterans Health , Young Adult
PLoS Med ; 17(9): e1003379, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-796633


BACKGROUND: There is growing concern that racial and ethnic minority communities around the world are experiencing a disproportionate burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We investigated racial and ethnic disparities in patterns of COVID-19 testing (i.e., who received testing and who tested positive) and subsequent mortality in the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This retrospective cohort study included 5,834,543 individuals receiving care in the US Department of Veterans Affairs; most (91%) were men, 74% were non-Hispanic White (White), 19% were non-Hispanic Black (Black), and 7% were Hispanic. We evaluated associations between race/ethnicity and receipt of COVID-19 testing, a positive test result, and 30-day mortality, with multivariable adjustment for a wide range of demographic and clinical characteristics including comorbid conditions, health behaviors, medication history, site of care, and urban versus rural residence. Between February 8 and July 22, 2020, 254,595 individuals were tested for COVID-19, of whom 16,317 tested positive and 1,057 died. Black individuals were more likely to be tested (rate per 1,000 individuals: 60.0, 95% CI 59.6-60.5) than Hispanic (52.7, 95% CI 52.1-53.4) and White individuals (38.6, 95% CI 38.4-38.7). While individuals from minority backgrounds were more likely to test positive (Black versus White: odds ratio [OR] 1.93, 95% CI 1.85-2.01, p < 0.001; Hispanic versus White: OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.74-1.94, p < 0.001), 30-day mortality did not differ by race/ethnicity (Black versus White: OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.80-1.17, p = 0.74; Hispanic versus White: OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.73-1.34, p = 0.94). The disparity between Black and White individuals in testing positive for COVID-19 was stronger in the Midwest (OR 2.66, 95% CI 2.41-2.95, p < 0.001) than the West (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.11-1.39, p < 0.001). The disparity in testing positive for COVID-19 between Hispanic and White individuals was consistent across region, calendar time, and outbreak pattern. Study limitations include underrepresentation of women and a lack of detailed information on social determinants of health. CONCLUSIONS: In this nationwide study, we found that Black and Hispanic individuals are experiencing an excess burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection not entirely explained by underlying medical conditions or where they live or receive care. There is an urgent need to proactively tailor strategies to contain and prevent further outbreaks in racial and ethnic minority communities.

Clinical Laboratory Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Adult , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult