A new study termed as ‘Deep phenotyping of 34,128 adult patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in an international network study’ and published in the journal ‘Nature’, reveals that comorbid conditions are common among patients suffering from the novel coronavirus. However, the condition is relatively lower in comparison with the influenza patients. The study examines a total of 34,128 COVID-19 patients, out of which, 18,425 come from Spain, 7341 from South Korea and 8362 from the United States. The 34,128 patients are compared with 84,585 individuals hospitalised with influenza in 2014-19.
The study said, “COVID-19 patients have more typically been male, younger, and with fewer comorbidities and lower medication use”. As per the study, COVID-19 and Influenza has a lot of similarities, like, “both cause respiratory disease which can vary markedly in its severity and present with a similar constellation of symptoms, including fever, cough, myalgia, malaise, fatigue and dyspnoea”. The early reports indicated that the proportion of severe infections and mortality rate is higher for COVID-19. However, older age and health conditions, such as immune deficiency, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, neuromuscular disease, neurological disease, chronic renal disease and metabolic diseases have been associated with influenza.
Co-lead author Seng Chan You said, “The most interesting part of this study is that it was possible to provide the details of patients' characteristics across institutions without violating their privacy. It's important to know this is possible because we don't know what is coming next. When is the next pandemic? Whatever happens, we know we can provide important patient characteristics to allow collaborative global research”.
Through the study, it was interpreted that those patients who are hospitalised for COVID-19 are more likely to be male in comparison to those hospitalised with influenza. The study said, “protecting those groups known to be vulnerable to influenza is likely to be a useful starting point to minimize the number of hospital admissions needed for COVID-19, but such strategies may need to be broadened so as to reflect the particular characteristics of individuals seen here to have been hospitalised with COVID-19”.