HealthDay News — Characteristics that are independently associated with hospitalization for COVID-19 include older age, black race, and having diabetes mellitus, according to research published in the June 17 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Marie E. Killerby, from the CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response Team, and colleagues abstracted data from the medical records of 220 hospitalized and 311 nonhospitalized patients aged ≥18 years with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from six acute care hospitals and associated outpatient clinics in Atlanta to identify patient characteristics associated with hospitalization.

The researchers found that age ≥65 years, black race, having diabetes mellitus, lack of insurance, male sex, smoking, and obesity were independently associated with hospitalization (adjusted odds ratios, 3.4, 3.2, 3.1, 2.8, 2.4, 2.3, and 1.9, respectively).


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“The reported association between black race and hospitalization, which remained even after controlling for diagnosed underlying conditions, suggests that underlying conditions alone might not account for the higher rate of hospitalization among black persons,” the authors write. “Other factors that might explain higher rates of hospitalization include health care access, other social determinants of health, or the possibility of bias.”

Abstract/Full Text