THURSDAY, Aug. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For adults aged 65 years or older, nirmatrelvir is associated with reduced rates of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19, according to a study published online Aug. 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ronen Arbel, Ph.D., from Clalit Health Services in Tel Aviv, Israel, and colleagues obtained data for all members of Clalit Health Services aged 40 years or older at the start of the study period who were eligible to receive nirmatrelvir during the omicron surge.

During the study period, 3,902 (4 percent) of the 109,254 patients who met the eligibility criteria received nirmatrelvir. The researchers found that the rate of hospitalization due to COVID-19 was 14.7 cases per 100,000 person-days among treated patients compared with 58.9 cases per 100,000 person-days among untreated patients for those aged 65 years or older (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.27; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.15 to 0.49). For death due to COVID-19, the adjusted hazard ratio was 0.21 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.05 to 0.82). Among patients aged 40 to 64 years, the rate of hospitalization due to COVID-19 was 15.2 and 15.8 cases per 100,000 person-days among treated and untreated patients, respectively (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.74; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.35 to 1.58). For death, the adjusted hazard ratio was 1.32 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.16 to 10.75).

“Among adults 65 years of age or older, the rates of severe COVID-19 outcomes were significantly lower among those who received nirmatrelvir than among those who did not receive nirmatrelvir,” the authors write. “No evidence of benefit was found in younger adults.”

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