Outcomes of COVID-19 Among Hospitalized Healthcare Workers in North America

Although healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of acquiring coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is unclear whether they are at risk of poorer outcomes. In their retrospective, observational cohort study included consecutive adult patients hospitalized with a diagnosis of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 across 36 North American centers, Yang, et al. (2021) sought to evaluate the association between HCW status and outcomes among patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

In total, 1790 patients were included, comprising 127 HCWs and 1663 non-HCWs. After 3:1 propensity score matching, 122 HCWs were matched to 366 non-HCWs. Women comprised 71 (58.2%) of matched HCWs and 214 (58.5%) of matched non-HCWs. Matched HCWs had a mean (SD) age of 52 (13) years, whereas matched non-HCWs had a mean (SD) age of 57 (17) years. In the matched cohort, the odds of the primary outcome, mechanical ventilation or death, were not significantly different for HCWs compared with non-HCWs (AOR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.34-1.04). The HCWs were less likely to require admission to an intensive care unit (AOR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.34-0.92) and were also less likely to require an admission of 7 days or longer (AOR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.34-0.83). There were no differences between matched HCWs and non-HCWs in terms of mechanical ventilation (AOR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.37-1.17), death (AOR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.18-1.27), or vasopressor requirements (AOR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.37-1.24).

In this propensity score–matched multicenter cohort study, HCW status was not associated with poorer outcomes among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and, in fact, was associated with a shorter length of hospitalization and decreased likelihood of intensive care unit admission. The researchers say further research is needed to elucidate the proportion of HCW infections acquired in the workplace and to assess whether HCW type is associated with outcomes.

Reference: Yang JY, et al. Outcomes of COVID-19 Among Hospitalized Health Care Workers in North America. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(1):e2035699. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.35699

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