Hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tend to be younger and healthier than hospitalized influenza (flu) patients, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 1 million deaths and there have been 35.6 million confirmed cases worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Many patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 have other health conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. 

The study included 34,000 COVID-19 patients from 3 different contents. Data were collected from a network of researchers and observational health databases. 

The study found that those hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States and Spain were more typically male, whereas those hospitalized in South Korea were more typically female. The most common age group of those hospitalized were those between the ages of 60 and 75 years. According to the study, those hospitalized for flu were more likely to be older and female. 

"This study has allowed us to better understand the profiles of patients hospitalized with COVID-19," co-lead author Edward Burn, PhD, said in the press release. "Despite recent discourse around the supposed poor health and limited life expectancy of COVID-19 patients, we see COVID-19 patients to be in no worse health than those typically hospitalized with influenza. This further highlights the high rate of mortality among COVID-19 patients."

Those admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 commonly had other health conditions. The prevalence of hypertension ranged from 24% to 70% and the prevalence of diabetes ranged from 13% to 43%, according to the study. However, compared with those hospitalized for the flu, those with COVID-19 tended to be healthier.  

Reference:
Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are younger, healthier than influenza patients [News Release] October 6, 2020; New York, NY. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-10/cuim-hcp100620.php. Accessed October 8, 2020.