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Early Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in a Multisite Prospective Cohort of Inpatient Veterans.

Ross JM, Sugimoto JD, Timmons A, Adams J, Deardoff K, Korpak A, Liu C, Moore K, Wilson D, Bedimo R, Chang KM, Cho K, Crothers K, Garshick E, Gaziano JM, Holodniy M, Hunt CM, Isaacs SN, Le E, Jones BE, Shah JA, Smith NL, Lee JS, EPIC Investigators. Early Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in a Multisite Prospective Cohort of Inpatient Veterans. Open forum infectious diseases. 2023 Jul 1; 10(7):ofad330.

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BACKGROUND: Over 870 000 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have occurred among Veterans Health Administration users, and 24 000 have resulted in death. We examined early outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in hospitalized veterans. METHODS: In an ongoing, prospective cohort study, we enrolled veterans age = 18 tested for SARS-CoV-2 and hospitalized at 15 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers between February 2021 and June 2022. We estimated adjusted odds ratios (aORs), adjusted incidence rate ratios (aIRRs), and adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) for maximum illness severity within 30 days of study entry (defined using the 4-category VA Severity Index for coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]), as well as length of hospitalization and rehospitalization within 60 days, in relationship with demographic characteristics, Charlson comorbidity index (CCI), COVID-19 vaccination, and calendar period of enrollment. RESULTS: The 542 participants included 329 (61%) who completed a primary vaccine series (with or without booster; "vaccinated"), 292 (54%) enrolled as SARS-CoV-2-positive, and 503 (93%) men, with a mean age of 64.4 years. High CCI scores ( = 5) occurred in 61 (44%) vaccinated and 29 (19%) unvaccinated SARS-CoV-2-positive participants. Severe illness or death occurred in 29 (21%; 6% died) vaccinated and 31 (20%; 2% died) unvaccinated SARS-CoV-2-positive participants. SARS-CoV-2-positive inpatients per unit increase in CCI had greater multivariable-adjusted odds of severe illness (aOR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.01-1.45), more hospitalization days (aIRR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03-1.10), and rehospitalization (aHR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.01-1.12). CONCLUSIONS: In a cohort of hospitalized US veterans with SARS-CoV-2 infection, those with a higher CCI had more severe COVID-19 illness, more hospital days, and rehospitalization, after adjusting for vaccination status, age, sex, and calendar period.

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