Aarhus University Seal

Comparison of the clinical presentation across two waves of COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Background: Only a few studies have performed comprehensive comparisons between hospitalized patients from different waves of COVID-19. Thus, we aimed to compare the clinical characteristics and laboratory data of patients admitted to the western part of Denmark during the first and second waves of COVID-19 in 2020. Furthermore, we aimed to identify risk factors for critical COVID-19 disease and to describe the available information on the sources of infection. Methods: We performed a retrospective study of medical records from 311 consecutive hospitalized patients, 157 patients from wave 1 and 154 patients from wave 2. The period from March 7 to June 30, 2020, was considered wave 1, and the period from July 1st to December 31, 2020, was considered wave 2. Data are presented as the total study population, as a comparison between waves 1 and 2, and as a comparison between patients with and without critical COVID-19 disease (nonsurvivors and patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU)). Results: Patients admitted during the first COVID-19 wave experienced a more severe course of disease than patients admitted during wave 2. Admissions to the ICU and fatal disease were significantly higher among patients admitted during wave 1 compared to wave 2. The percentage of patients infected at hospital decreased in wave 2 compared to wave 1, whereas more patients were infected at home during wave 2. We found no significant differences in sociodemographics, lifestyle information, or laboratory data in the comparison of patients from waves 1 and 2. However, age, sex, smoking status, comorbidities, fever, and dyspnea were identified as risk factors for critical COVID-19 disease. Furthermore, we observed significantly increased levels of C-reactive protein and creatinine, and lower hemoglobin levels among patients with critical disease. Conclusions: At admission, patients were more severely ill during wave 1 than during wave 2, and the outcomes were worse during wave 1. We confirmed previously identified risk factors for critical COVID-19 disease. In addition, we found that most COVID-19 infections were acquired at home.

Original languageEnglish
Article number423
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Clinical characteristics, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Critical disease, Exposure, Laboratory data, Mortality, Period, Source of infection, Wave

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 268860736