April 8, 2023
In a recent study published in the Journal of the AMA in April 2023, researchers learned that, in a VA population during the fall and winter 2022 into 2023, being hospitalized for COVID-19 vs seasonal influenza was associated with an increased risk of death. Study subjects positive for COVID19 suffered an excess death rate of 2.23% compared to patients diagnosed with influenza. The death rate was lower for COVID19 patients who had been vaccinated. The findings highlight the seriousness of COVID19 infection as well as the importance of vaccination in reducing deaths.
The purpose of the study was to assess whether COVID-19 remains associated with higher risk of death compared with seasonal influenza.
In the study were 8996 hospitalizations (538 deaths [5.98%] within 30 days) for COVID-19 with 538 of those patients dying within 30-days of hospitalization. There were 2403 hospitalizations for seasonal influenza with 76 dying within 30-days of hospitalization. After propensity score weighting, the 2 groups were found to be well balanced statistically.
The death rate at 30 days was 5.97% for COVID-19 and 3.75% for influenza, with an excess death rate of 2.23% with a 95% Confidence interval. Compared with hospitalization for influenza, hospitalization for COVID-19 was associated with a higher risk of death.
The risk of death decreased with the number of COVID-19 vaccinations highlighting the importance of getting vaccinated.
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