New York, Dec 19 : Hospitalised male Covid-19 patients have a 30 per cent greater risk of dying compared to women of the same age and health status, revealed a new study that identified several risk factors for mortality from the disease.
Hospitalised patients who were obese, had hypertension or poorly managed diabetes also had a higher risk of dying compared to those who did not have these conditions, said the study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Those aged 20 to 39 with these conditions had the biggest difference in their risk of dying compared to their healthier peers.
For the study, the researchers evaluated nearly 67,000 hospitalised Covid-19 patients in 613 hospitals across the US to determine the link between certain common patient characteristics and the risk of dying from Covid-19.
"Predicting which hospitalised Covid-19 patients have the highest risk of dying has taken on urgent importance as cases and hospitalisations in the US continue to surge to record high numbers during the month of December," said study corresponding author Anthony Harris, Professor at University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) in the US.
"Knowledge is power in many ways, so I think understanding which hospitalised Covid-19 patients are at highest risk of mortality can help guide difficult treatment decisions."
For example, higher-risk patients may be considered for closer monitoring or ICU admission.
Healthcare providers may also want to consider these risks when determining which Covid-19 patients could benefit the most from the new monoclonal antibody therapies that, if given in the first few days of the infection, can reduce the risk of hospitalisation.
Age remained the strongest predictor of mortality from Covid-19.
Overall, nearly 19 percent of hospitalized Covid-19 patients died from their infection with the lowest mortality among pediatric patients, which was less than 2 per cent.
Mortality rates increased with each decade of life with the highest mortality, 34 per cent, among those aged 80 and older.
"Older patients still have the highest risk of dying, but younger patients with obesity or hypertension have the highest risk of dying relative to other patients their age without these conditions," said study lead author Katherine Goodman, a postdoctoral fellow at UMSOM.
"Doctors may want to be paying extra attention to these younger patients when they're hospitalised to ensure they detect any complications quickly."
The researchers also found some good news in their study findings.
Death rates among hospitalised patients have fallen dramatically since the early weeks of the pandemic in April.
This is likely due to the availability of new treatments and more knowledge in the medical community on how to properly manage and care for hospitalised patients.