What researchers learned analyzing COVID-19 mortality rates at 107 hospitals

The death rate for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the U.S. fell 38 percent between March and May of 2020, but did not continue to significantly decrease through the fall, according to a study published May 3 in JAMA Network Open.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on 20,736 adults with COVID-19 admitted to 107 hospitals in 31 states between March and November of 2020. 

In March and April, the overall in-hospital mortality rate was 19.1 percent. This figure fell to 11.9 percent in May and June, before tapering off at 10.8 percent from September through November. 

While there were small changes in the patient population over the study period — including a slight decrease in age and a higher proportion of women — mortality rates decreased even after researchers adjusted for factors including age, sex, comorbodiidies and COVID-19 disease severity. 

"Our findings suggest that the decline in mortality could be due to overloaded hospitals and changes in treatment," said lead author Gregory Roth, an associate professor of medicine at the  University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle.

"Further analysis is needed to understand the drivers more precisely, but it speaks to a crucial need for information-sharing and identifying hospital best practices that can prevent mortality rates from increasing again, particularly during possible future waves of COVID-19 infections," he added.

To view the full study, click here.


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