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Comorbidities affecting re-admission and survival in COVID-19: Application of joint frailty model.

BACKGROUND: One of the common concerns of healthcare systems is the potential for re-admission of COVID-19 patients. In addition to adding costs to the healthcare system, re-admissions also endanger patient safety. Recognizing the factors that influence re-admission, can help provide appropriate and optimal health care. The aim of this study was to assess comorbidities that affect re-admission and survival in COVID-19 patients using a joint frailty model.

METHODS: This historical cohort study was done using data of patients with COVID-19 who were re-hospitalized more than twice in a referral hospital in North of Iran. We used the joint frailty model to investigate prognostic factors of survival and recurrence, simultaneously using R version 3.5.1 (library "frailtypack"). P-values less than 0.05 were considered as statistically significant.

RESULTS: A total of 112 patients with mean (SD) age of 63.76 (14.58) years old were recruited into the study. Forty-eight (42.9%) patients died in which 53.83% of them were re-admitted for a second time. Using adjusted joint model, the hazard of re-admission increased with cancer (Hazard ratio (HR) = 1.92) and hyperlipidemia (HR = 1.22). Furthermore, the hazard of death increased with hyperlipidemia (HR = 4.05) followed by age (HR = 1.76) and cancer (HR = 1.64). It Also decreased with lung disease (HR = 0.11), hypothyroidism (HR = 0.32), and hypertension (HR = 0.97).

CONCLUSION: Considering the correlation between re-admission and mortality in the joint frailty model, malignancy and hyperlipidemia increased the risk of both re-admission and mortality. Moreover, lung disease probably due to the use of corticosteroids, was a protective factor against both mortality and re-admission.

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