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Demographics, comorbidities and risk factors for severe disease from the early SARS-CoV-2 infection cases in Queensland, Australia.

Internal Medicine Journal 2023 November 14
BACKGROUND: Demographics and comorbidities associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity differs between subpopulations and should be determined to aid future pandemic planning and preparedness.

AIM: To describe the demographics and comorbidities of patients diagnosed with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in Queensland (QLD), Australia, between January 2020 and May 2021. Also, to determine the relationship between these characteristics and disease severity based on the highest level of care.

METHODS: A retrospective case series analysis was conducted using data obtained from the Notifiable Conditions System. Data on patients confirmed with SARS-CoV-2 infection in QLD were included in this analysis. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression modelling were used to analyse factors that contributed to disease severity.

RESULTS: One thousand six hundred twenty-five patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were diagnosed in the study period and analysed. The median age was 41 years and 54.3% (n = 882) were males. A total of 550 patients were hospitalised and 20 patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). In those admitted to the ICU, 95% (n = 19) were older than 45 years and 95% (n = 19) were male. Comorbidities significantly associated with hospitalisation were chronic cardiac disease (excluding hypertension) and diabetes, and for ICU admission were morbid obesity, chronic respiratory disease and chronic cardiac disease. No demographic factors were shown to be significantly associated with disease severity.

CONCLUSIONS: Comorbidities associated with the highest level of COVID-19 disease severity were morbid obesity, chronic respiratory disease and cardiac disease. These data can assist with identifying high-risk patients susceptible to severe COVID-19 and can be used to facilitate preparations for future pandemics.

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