In-hospital mortality during the wild-type, alpha, delta, and omicron SARS-CoV-2 waves: a multinational cohort study in the EuCARE project.

Hedberg P, Parczewski M, Serwin K, Marchetti G, Bai F, Ole Jensen B, Pereira JPV, Drobniewski F, Reschreiter H, Naumovas D, Ceccherini-Silberstein F, Rubio Quintanares GH, Mwau M, Toscano C, König F, Pfeifer N, Zazzi M, Fanti I, Incardona F, Cozzi-Lepri A, Sönnerborg A, Nauclér P

Lancet Reg Health Eur 38 (-) 100855 [2024-03-00; online 2024-02-02]

Investigating outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic is crucial to understand the impact of different SARS-CoV-2 variants. We compared 28-day in-hospital mortality of Wild-type, Alpha, Delta, and Omicron variant infections. Whether the difference in risk by variant varied by age was also evaluated. We conducted a cohort study including patients ≥18 years, hospitalised between 2020 and 02-01 and 2022-10-15 with a SARS-CoV-2 positive test, from nine countries. Variant was classified based on sequenced viruses or from national public metadata. Mortality was compared using the cumulative incidence function and subdistribution hazard ratios (SHR) adjusted for age, sex, calendar time, and comorbidities. Results were shown age-stratified due to effect measure modification (P < 0.0001 for interaction between age and variant). We included 38,585 participants: 19,763 Wild-type, 6387 Alpha, 3640 Delta, and 8795 Omicron. The cumulative incidence of mortality decreased throughout the study period. Among participants ≥70 years, the adjusted SHR (95% confidence interval) for Delta vs. Omicron was 1.66 (1.29-2.13). This estimate was 1.66 (1.17-2.36) for Alpha vs. Omicron, and 1.34 (0.92-1.95) for Wild-type vs. Omicron. These were 1.21 (0.81-1.82), 1.21 (0.68-2.17), and 0.98 (0.53-1.82) among unvaccinated participants. When comparing Omicron sublineages, the aSHR for BA.1 was 1.92 (1.43-2.58) compared to BA.2 and 1.52 (1.11-2.08) compared to BA.5. The herein observed decrease in in-hospital mortality seems to reflect a combined effect of immunity from vaccinations and previous infections, although differences in virulence between SARS-CoV-2 variants may also have contributed. European Union's Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme.

Category: Health

Category: Public Health

Funder: H2020

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38476753

DOI 10.1016/j.lanepe.2024.100855

Crossref 10.1016/j.lanepe.2024.100855

pmc: PMC10928271
pii: S2666-7762(24)00021-8

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