COPD Patients Vulnerable to Severe COVID-19 Infections, Study Finds

COPD Patients Vulnerable to Severe COVID-19 Infections, Study Finds
People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 infections, being even more likely to develop severe disease or to be admitted to intensive care units (ICU) than those with diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes, an analysis of several published studies found. The research also shows that shortness of breath (dyspnea) is the only COVID-19 symptom significantly associated with disease severity and ICU admission, a finding that may help group patients according to risk and allocate healthcare resources more efficiently. The study, "Systematic review and meta-analysis of predictive symptoms and comorbidities for severe COVID-19 infection," has been published in MedRxiv in advance of its printing and prior to peer review. The coronavirus (SARS-2-CoV) pandemic has become a public health emergency, and cases worldwide are rapidly rising. Defining the risk factors for severe COVID-19 infections is of utmost priority to maximize the use of available resources. This can help to create tools that predict a patient's risk of having severe disease, allowing for early intervention in high-risk patients. Recent studies suggest that fever and cough are the most common symptoms, and that older people and those with specific chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe disease. Researchers at the University College London (UCL) conducted a meta-analysis of seven published studies from China, looking at the symptoms and conditions associated with severe COVID-19 infections. The analysis included a total of 1,813 patients who were admitted to the hospital with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Among them, 116 were admitted to the ICU, and 315 were classified as having severe disease. ICU patient
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