Study identifies factors linked to COVID deaths among healthcare workers –

Minority, male or older healthcare workers have a higher death rate from COVID-19 than their peers and non-healthcare workers, according to a new study. In addition, the risk of mortality is linked to certain clinical indicators, according to the researchers.

The researchers compared COVID-19 deaths among healthcare workers with three control groups: workers who did not die, non-workers who died, and non-workers who did not die. Patient data was obtained from January 1, 2020 through October 12, 2021, across the United States.

Workers aged 50 or older, male, black or Asian, experienced significantly more deaths than matched controls. The finding mirrors those of several general population studies, reported Shao Lin, MD, PhD, of the University of Albany in New York and colleagues.

Healthcare workers were more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions, shortness of breath, fever, cough and gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, the researchers also found. Pre-existing chronic conditions were the strongest predictor of COVID-19 deaths, they reported.

Worker deaths peaked once

Although deaths from COVID-19 in the general population have seen three separate peaks, deaths among healthcare workers only peaked in the first surge. They then dropped after April 2020 and remained low, Lin and his colleagues reported. This finding can be attributed to the relatively early and high vaccination rate of healthcare workers, access to personal protective equipment and improved healthcare facilities, and early detection and treatment, it said. they theorized.

Notably, investigators found that the death rate in the general population (2.48%) was more than seven times that of healthcare workers, who died at a rate of 0.33%. This difference could be due to better access to health care and treatment, which could have prevented more deaths in this population, they wrote.

The full findings have been published in Emerging infectious diseasesa journal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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