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New Study Shows Impact of COVID-19 and Comorbidities in Inner-City Lung Screening Cohort


In a lung screening cohort of over 2,500 people, researchers found that significantly higher rates of chronic kidney disease and chronic heart failure were associated with increased hospitalization and mortality rates in patients with COVID-19.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and/or congestive heart failure (CHF) can lead to significantly higher hospitalization and mortality rates in patients with COVID-19, according to a new study of an inner-city lung cancer screening cohort, which was presented earlier today at the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) conference.

The study involved 2,537 patients from a lung cancer screening program at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. In a retrospective chart review conducted between March 2020 and June 2021, researchers noted an overall COVID-19 infection rate of 9.1 percent along with a 32 percent hospitalization rate and 6.9 percent mortality rate in patients with COVID-19. Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had a nearly 20 percent higher incidence rate of CKD (33.8 percent) and a greater than sixfold higher incidence rate of CHF (28.4 percent) in comparison to non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (14 percent CKD and 4.5 percent CHF), according to study co-author Linda B. Haramati, MD, MS, a professor in the department of radiology at the Montefiore Medical Center, and colleagues.

Dr. Haramati and colleagues also noted significantly higher rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension (HTN), malignancy, and a history of myocardial infraction (MI) among hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Patients with COVID-19-related mortality had a nearly 30 percent higher incidence rate of diabetes (68.8 percent) in comparison to those who survived after COVID-19 infection (39.1 percent), according to the study.

Citing recent socioeconomic statistics, the researchers said that Bronx County, with a poverty rate of 28 percent and a patient-to-clinician ratio of 1,628 to 1, was particularly hard hit during the pandemic. The Bronx had the highest COVID-19-related hospitalization and death rates out of the five boroughs in New York City, according to Dr. Haramati and colleagues.

The study authors conceded study limitations such as drawing data from a single center; database limitations that restricted the availability of comorbidity data to patients with COVID-19; and the possibility of many undocumented COVID-19 infections due to a lack of widespread testing being available during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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