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1.
Mil Med ; 2021 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475819

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We explored factors related to testing positive for severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to identify populations most at risk for this airborne pathogen. METHODS: Data were abstracted from the medical record database of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and from public sources. Veterans testing positive were matched in a 1:4 ratio to those at a similar timepoint and local disease burden who remained negative between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Multivariable logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios for the association of each potential risk factor with a positive test result. RESULTS: A total of 24,843 veterans who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were matched with 99,324 controls. Cases and controls were similar in age, sex, ethnicity, and rurality, but cases were more likely to be Black, reside in low-income counties, and suffer from dementia. Multivariable analysis demonstrated highest risk for Black veterans, those with dementia or diabetes, and those living in nursing homes or high-poverty areas. Veterans living in counties likely to be more adherent to public health guidelines were at the lowest risk. CONCLUSIONS: Our results are similar to those from studies of other populations and add to that work by accounting for several important proxies for risk. In particular, this work has implications for the value of infection control measures at the population level in helping to stem widespread outbreaks of this type.

2.
Mil Med ; 2021 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455331

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Early identification of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who are at risk for hospitalization may help to mitigate disease burden by allowing healthcare systems to conduct sufficient resource and logistical planning in the event of case surges. We sought to develop and validate a clinical risk score that uses readily accessible information at testing to predict individualized 30-day hospitalization risk following COVID-19 diagnosis. METHODS: We assembled a retrospective cohort of U.S. Veterans Health Administration patients (age ≥ 18 years) diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. We screened patient characteristics using Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator logistic regression and constructed the risk score using characteristics identified as most predictive for hospitalization. Patients diagnosed before November 1, 2020, comprised the development cohort, while those diagnosed on or after November 1, 2020, comprised the validation cohort. We assessed risk score discrimination by calculating the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve and calibration using the Hosmer-Lemeshow (HL) goodness-of-fit test. This study was approved by the Veteran's Institutional Review Board of Northern New England at the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Reference no.:1473972-1). RESULTS: The development and validation cohorts comprised 11,473 and 12,970 patients, of whom 4,465 (38.9%) and 3,669 (28.3%) were hospitalized, respectively. The independent predictors for hospitalization included in the risk score were increasing age, male sex, non-white race, Hispanic ethnicity, homelessness, nursing home/long-term care residence, unemployed or retired status, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, cough, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Model discrimination and calibration was good for the development (AUROC = 0.80; HL P-value = .05) and validation (AUROC = 0.80; HL P-value = .31) cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: The prediction tool developed in this study demonstrated that it could identify patients with COVID-19 who are at risk for hospitalization. This could potentially inform clinicians and policymakers of patients who may benefit most from early treatment interventions and help healthcare systems anticipate capacity surges.

3.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(10): e2128391, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453501

ABSTRACT

Importance: Effectiveness of mRNA vaccinations in a diverse older population with high comorbidity is unknown. Objectives: To describe the scope of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout among US veterans, and to estimate mRNA COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) as measured by rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This matched test-negative case-control study was conducted using SARS-CoV-2 test results at Veterans Health Administration sites from December 14, 2020, to March 14, 2021. Vaccine coverage was estimated for all veterans. VE against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-related hospitalization and death were estimated using electronic health records from veterans who routinely sought care at a VHA facility and had a test result positive for SARS-CoV-2 (cases) or negative for SARS-CoV-2 (controls). Cases and controls were matched on time of test and geographic region. Data were analyzed from May to July 2021. Exposures: Vaccination status, defined as unvaccinated, partially vaccinated (≥14 days after first dose until second dose), or fully vaccinated (≥14 days after second dose), at time of test. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome of interest was a positive result for SARS-CoV-2 on a polymerase chain reaction or antigen test. Secondary outcomes included COVID-19-related hospitalization and death, defined by discharge data and proximity of event to positive test result. VE was estimated from odds ratios for SARS-CoV-2 infection with 95% CIs. Results: Among 6 647 733 veterans included (3 350 373 veterans [50%] aged ≥65 years; 6 014 798 [90%] men and 632 935 [10%] women; 461 645 Hispanic veterans of any race [7%], 1 102 471 non-Hispanic Black veterans [17%], and 4 361 621 non-Hispanic White veterans [66%]), 1 363 180 (21%) received at least 1 COVID-19 vaccination by March 7, 2021. In this period, during which the share of SARS-CoV-2 variants Alpha, Epsilon, and Iota had started to increase in the US, estimates of COVID-19 VE against infection, regardless of symptoms, was 95% (95% CI, 93%-96%) for full vaccination and 64% (95% CI, 59%-68%) for partial vaccination. Estimated VE against COVID-19-related hospitalization for full vaccination was 91% (95% CI 83%-95%); there were no deaths among veterans who were fully vaccinated. VE against infection was similar across subpopulations (non-Hispanic Black, 94% [95% CI, 88%-97%]; Hispanic [any race], 83% [95% CI, 45%-95%]; non-Hispanic White, 92% [95% CI 88%-94%]; rural, 94% [95% CI, 89%-96%]; urban, 93% 95% CI, 89%-95%]). Conclusions and Relevance: For veterans of all racial and ethnic subgroups living in urban or rural areas, mRNA vaccination was associated with substantially decreased risk of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization, with no deaths among fully vaccinated veterans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , RNA, Messenger , Vaccination Coverage , Veterans , African Americans , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , European Continental Ancestry Group , Female , Hispanic Americans , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , United States , United States Department of Veterans Affairs
4.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0246217, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331980

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
5.
Eurosurveillance ; 25(19):16, 2020.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-833282

ABSTRACT

Introduction It is unclear whether high-dose influenza vaccine (HD) is more effective at reducing mortality among seniors. Aim This study aimed to evaluate the relative vaccine effectiveness (rVE) of HD. Methods We linked electronic medical record databases in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Medicare administrative files to examine the rVE of HD vs standard-dose influenza vaccines (SD) in preventing influenza/pneumonia-associated and cardiorespiratory mortality among VHA-enrolled veterans 65 years or older during the 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15 influenza seasons. A multivariable Cox proportional hazards model was performed on matched recipients of HD vs SD, based on vaccination time, location, age, sex, ethnicity and VHA priority level. Results Among 569,552 person-seasons of observation, 207,574 (36%) were HD recipients and 361,978 (64%) were SD recipients, predominantly male (99%) and white (82%). Pooling findings from all three seasons, the adjusted rVE estimate of HD vs SD during the high influenza periods was 42% (95% confidence interval (CI): 24–59) against influenza/pneumonia-associated mortality and 27% (95% CI: 23–32) against cardiorespiratory mortality. Residual confounding was evident in both early and late influenza periods despite matching and multivariable adjustment. Excluding individuals with high 1-year predicted mortality at baseline reduced the residual confounding and yielded rVE of 36% (95% CI: 10–62) and 25% (95% CI: 12–38) against influenza/pneumonia-associated and cardiorespiratory mortality, respectively. These were confirmed by results from two-stage residual inclusion estimations. Discussion The HD was associated with a lower risk of influenza/pneumonia-associated and cardiorespiratory death in men during the high influenza period.

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