COVID-19 inpatients tend to be younger, healthier than inpatients with the flu, study finds

COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized tend to be younger with fewer underlying conditions than hospitalized influenza patients, a new study shows.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, includes data for 34,128 COVID-19 patients, of which 8,362 were from the U.S., and the rest were from South Korea and Spain. Researchers compared patient characteristics of the COVID-19 patients to 84,585 people hospitalized with the flu between 2014 and 2019.

They found that COVID-19 patients have more typically been male, younger and had fewer underlying conditions compared to the flu patients. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease and dementia were all more common among hospitalized flu patients than COVID-19 patients.

Medication use was less common among COVID-19 patients, and hospitalized flu patients used systemic corticosteroids and alpha-blockers more frequently, the study found.

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