Irish Study shows Underlying Conditions Linked to more Severe Covid Outcomes

Irish Study shows Underlying Conditions Linked to more Severe Covid Outcomes

A national study of 20,000 patients conducted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) University of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Health Service Executive (HSE) Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has identified underlying conditions that are associated with more severe outcomes from COVID-19 in an Irish setting.

The study linked underlying conditions including chronic heart disease, a chronic neurological condition, chronic kidney disease and cancer as being associated with more severe outcomes including mortality, admission to hospital or admission to ICU.

Morbidly obese patients were also identified as being at greater risk of more severe outcomes from COVID-19.

Amongst the patients studied, there were 1,476 (7.5%) deaths, 2,811 (14%) hospitalisations and 438 (2%) ICU admissions.

The research, published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe is set to inform national public health policies and assist in future treatment and prevention strategies for people at most risk from the virus.

The study, which was completed during the first wave of the pandemic between March and July 2020, is the first national surveillance study in Ireland to capture data from both hospital and community settings.

Commenting on the findings of the study, one of its authors, Professor Kathleen Bennett, Associate Professor in Biostatistics at RCSI, said, ‘Previous studies conducted have suggested that specific underlying conditions influence adverse health outcomes among those with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. However, the majority of these studies have focused on hospital-based or local populations only. This study is the first population-based research to capture data across all settings in Ireland, including both community and hospital settings, and so it gives us a better picture of the impact of the disease on patients at the population level.’

Professor Bennett went on to say that, ‘The findings are of particular relevance as the national vaccination programme is well underway including those at very high risk and high risk from the most severe outcomes of COVID-19.’

The study was published as Ireland’s vaccination programme, which has been hindered by setbacks, recently passed the one million mark. The country has remained in a Level 5 lock down since the beginning of January.

Image by Teak’s Pics/CreativeCommons/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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