Scand J Public Health 50 (6) 676-682 [2022-08-00; online 2022-07-07]
Using individual-level national registry data, we conducted a cohort study to estimate differences in the length of hospital stay, and risk of admission to an intensive care unit and in-hospital death among patients infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant, compared with patients infected with Delta variant in Norway. We included 409 (38%) patients infected with Omicron and 666 (62%) infected with Delta who were hospitalised with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as the main cause of hospitalisation between 6 December 2021 and 6 February 2022. Omicron patients had a 48% lower risk of intensive care admission (adjusted hazard ratios (aHR): 0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.34-0.80) and a 56% lower risk of in-hospital death (aHR: 0.44, 95%CI: 0.24-0.79) compared with Delta patients. Omicron patients had a shorter length of stay (with or without ICU stay) compared with Delta patients in the age groups from 18 to 79 years and those who had at least completed their primary vaccination. This supports growing evidence of reduced disease severity among hospitalised Omicron patients compared with Delta patients.