What data from 20 systems shows about breakthrough infections

People with diabetes, chronic lung disease or chronic kidney disease may be at increased risk for breakthrough infections compared to the general population, according to Nov. 9 research from the health system-led data analytics startup Truveta.

The startup, which now includes 20 health systems nationwide, launched its deidentified clinical data platform Nov. 9. The platform pools information from participating care sites to glean insights on medical conditions such as COVID-19 and rare diseases. 

For its first study, Truveta analyzed clinical data on more than 1.7 million fully vaccinated patients in the U.S. Researchers assessed trends in breakthrough infections and hospitalizations among those with ​​chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes or those who are immunocompromised, in comparison to people without any underlying health issues. 

Five findings to know:

1. Overall, breakthrough infection rates remained low among all groups studied, running from 0.9 percent for the general population to 1.5 percent for those with chronic kidney disease.

2. About 10 percent of people with breakthrough cases required hospitalization. 

3. About 15 percent of Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients were hospitalized for breakthrough infections compared to about 9 percent for people who received Moderna or Pfizer's shot. 

4. People with chronic kidney disease had the highest hospitalization rate (26 percent) of all high-risk groups included in the analysis. 

5. People who are immunocompromised did not have an increased risk for breakthrough infections compared to the general population in the study, which researchers said may be due to higher adoption of public health measures like masking or social distancing. 

The research does not account for the timing of patient vaccination, previous COVID-19 infections and the timing of infections in relation to variants, which is a limitation, researchers said.

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