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PLoS One ; 16(7): e0246217, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331980


OBJECTIVE: We explored longitudinal trends in sociodemographic characteristics, reported symptoms, laboratory findings, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment, comorbidities, and 30-day in-hospital mortality among hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the United States Veterans Health Administration between 03/01/20 and 08/31/20 and followed until 09/30/20. We focused our analysis on patients that were subsequently hospitalized, and categorized them into groups based on the month of hospitalization. We summarized our findings through descriptive statistics. We used Cuzick's Trend Test to examine any differences in the distribution of our study variables across the six months. RESULTS: During our study period, we identified 43,267 patients with COVID-19. A total of 8,240 patients were hospitalized, and 13.1% (N = 1,081) died within 30 days of admission. Hospitalizations increased over time, but the proportion of patients that died consistently declined from 24.8% (N = 221/890) in March to 8.0% (N = 111/1,396) in August. Patients hospitalized in March compared to August were younger on average, mostly black, urban-dwelling, febrile and dyspneic. They also had a higher frequency of baseline comorbidities, including hypertension and diabetes, and were more likely to present with abnormal laboratory findings including low lymphocyte counts and elevated creatinine. Lastly, there was a decline from March to August in receipt of mechanical ventilation (31.4% to 13.1%) and hydroxychloroquine (55.3% to <1.0%), while treatment with dexamethasone (3.7% to 52.4%) and remdesivir (1.1% to 38.9%) increased. CONCLUSION: Among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, we observed a trend towards decreased disease severity and mortality over time.

COVID-19/mortality , Veterans Health/statistics & numerical data , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Comorbidity , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Lymphocyte Count , Lymphocytes/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Retrospective Studies , United States