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Impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants on inpatient clinical outcome
Clinical Infectious Diseases
Prior observation has shown differences in COVID-19 hospitalization risk between SARS-CoV-2 variants, but limited information describes hospitalization outcomes.
Inpatients with COVID-19 at 5 hospitals in the eastern United States were included if they had hypoxia, tachypnea, tachycardia, or fever, and SARS-CoV-2 variant data, determined from whole-genome sequencing or local surveillance inference. Analyses were stratified by history of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination or infection. The average effect of SARS-CoV-2 variant on 28-day risk of severe disease, defined by advanced respiratory support needs, or death was evaluated using models weighted on propensity scores derived from baseline clinical features.
Severe disease or death within 28 days occurred for 977 (29%) of 3369 unvaccinated patients and 269 (22%) of 1230 patients with history of vaccination or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among unvaccinated patients, the relative risk of severe disease or death for Delta variant compared with ancestral lineages was 1.30 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.11–1.49). Compared with Delta, the risk for Omicron patients was .72 (95% CI: .59–.88) and compared with ancestral lineages was .94 (.78–1.1). Among Omicron and Delta infections, patients with history of vaccination or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection had half the risk of severe disease or death (adjusted hazard ratio: .40; 95% CI: .30–.54), but no significant outcome difference by variant.
Although risk of severe disease or death for unvaccinated inpatients with Omicron was lower than with Delta, it was similar to ancestral lineages. Severe outcomes were less common in vaccinated inpatients, with no difference between Delta and Omicron infections.
Matthew L Robinson, C Paul Morris, Joshua F Betz, Yifan Zhang, Robert Bollinger, Natalie Wang, David R Thiemann, Amary Fall, Raghda E Eldesouki, Julie M Norton, David C Gaston, Michael Forman, Chun Huai Luo, Scott L Zeger, Amita Gupta, Brian T Garibaldi, Heba H Mostafa, Impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Variants on Inpatient Clinical Outcome, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2022;, ciac957, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciac957