THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Young adults hospitalized with COVID-19 have substantial rates of adverse outcomes, according to a research letter published online Sept. 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Jonathan W. Cunningham, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the clinical profile and outcomes of 3,222 young adults (aged 18 to 34 years) who required hospitalization for COVID-19 and were admitted to 419 U.S. hospitals.

Most participants (57.6 percent) were men and 57.0 percent were Black or Hispanic. Overall, 36.8, 24.5, 18.2, and 16.1 percent had obesity, morbid obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, respectively. The researchers found that 21, 10, and 2.7 percent of patients required intensive care unit admission, required mechanical ventilation, and died during hospitalization, respectively. The risk of death or mechanical ventilation was increased in association with morbid obesity (versus no obesity) and hypertension, in addition to male sex (adjusted odds ratios, 2.30, 2.36, and 1.53, respectively). There was no significant variation noted in the odds of death or mechanical ventilation with race and ethnicity. Morbid obesity was seen in 41 percent of patients who died or required mechanical ventilation. The risk for death or mechanical ventilation was increased in association with diabetes in a univariate analysis, but after adjustment, the association was no longer statistically significant. Risks were similar for young adults with multiple risk factors and middle-aged (35 to 64 years) adults without these risk factors.

“Given the sharply rising rates of COVID-19 infection in young adults, these findings underscore the importance of infection prevention measures in this age group,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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