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Lessons learned early in the pandemic may help others

During a national conference, Hurley Infectious Disease (ID) Specialist Mariam Younas MD and her coauthors recently described predictors of mortality in COVID-19 infections in Flint-area patients from the earliest few months of the pandemic.

The Spring 2021 Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America conference theme of Science Guiding Prevention was an excellent fit for the Hurley physicians' contributions.

The Hurley investigators retrospectively analyzed data from 289 consecutive adult patient cases with confirmed COVID-19 infection admitted to and discharged from Hurley March-June 2020. During the four-month study period, they found that, in Flint, mortality trends were higher in males and those with hypertension, diabetes, and other comorbidities, as well as with smoking. In that time period, the overall in-hospital case fatality rate was 18% (51 of 289), with the highest case fatality rate in the age group of 60-69 years (36%, p=0.06).

Describing and understanding the potential risk factors is key to improving outcomes for the Flint population, the authors wrote in their conclusion.

The poster, Predictors of Mortality of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Flint, Michigan, Residents; Effect of Age, Gender, Smoking and Health Plan, was coauthored by Younas and fellow Hurley ID specialists Danielle Osterholzer MD and Philip McDonald MD; Hurley epidemiologist Carlos Rios-Bedoya MPH; Hurley Internal Medicine resident physicians Sherry Demian MD, Smit Deliwala MD, Lalida Kunaprayoon MD, Harini Lakshman MD, Thulasi Beere MD, and Uyoyo Omaduvie MD; and Hurley Internal Medicine Residency Program Director Ghassan Bachuwa MD.