MONDAY, May 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Death or readmission after discharge from a COVID-19 hospitalization occurs in about one in nine patients, according to a study published online May 16 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Finlay A. McAlister, M.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues examined the frequency and predictors of death or unplanned readmission after a COVID-19 hospital discharge. The retrospective cohort study included all adults discharged alive from hospital after acute care admission for COVID-19 between Jan. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, in Alberta and Ontario.

The researchers found that 46,412 adults were admitted to the hospital within 14 days of their positive test. Of these, 8,496 died in hospital and 34,846 were discharged alive. Of the discharged patients, one in nine died or were readmitted within 30 days (3,173 patients [10.5 percent] of those with stay ≤30 days and 579 [12.8 percent] of those with stay >30 days). In Alberta and Ontario, the score for predicting urgent readmission or death within 30 days (calculated from the length of stay, acuity, Charlson Comorbidity Index, and number of emergency visits in the previous six months) had a C-statistic of 0.60 and 0.61, respectively. The C-statistic improved to 0.73 with inclusion of sex, discharge locale, the deprivation index, and teaching hospital status in the model.

“Despite fears of high rates of readmission after COVID-19 hospitalizations, we found that outcomes in the 30 days after discharge were consistent with admissions for other medical diagnoses,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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