Daily Pharmacy News

Get your free subscription started now. Just enter your email address below.

COVID-19 vs. Influenza Mortality Rates Among Hospitalized Patients

Hospitalized individuals in a VA population during the fall and winter of 2022 and 2023 had higher mortality rates with COVID-19 than with influenza, researchers report. “The increased risk of death was greater among unvaccinated individuals compared with those vaccinated or boosted—findings that highlight the importance of vaccination in reducing risk of COVID-19 death,” the authors write.

Included in the analysis were individuals in the VA’s electronic health database with at least 1 hospital admission record between 2 days before and 10 days after a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2 or influenza and an admission diagnosis for COVID-19 or seasonal influenza. “There were 8,996 hospitalizations (538 deaths [5.98%] within 30 days) for COVID-19 and 2,403 hospitalizations (76 deaths [3.16%]) for seasonal influenza,” the authors write. “After propensity score weighting, the 2 groups were well balanced (mean age, 73 years; 95% male).

“The death rate at 30 days was 5.97% for COVID-19 and 3.75% for influenza, with an excess death rate of 2.23% (95% CI, 1.32%-3.13%). Compared with hospitalization for influenza, hospitalization for COVID-19 was associated with a higher risk of death (hazard ratio, 1.61 [95% CI, 1.29-2.02]).

“The risk of death decreased with the number of COVID-19 vaccinations (P = .009 for interaction between unvaccinated and vaccinated; P < .001 for interaction between unvaccinated and boosted). No statistically significant interactions were observed across other subgroups.”

Source: JAMA