In a preprint that has not been peer-reviewed, CITF Leadership Group member Dr. Mel Krajden and colleagues sought to identify factors associated with COVID-19 hospitalization by looking at all individuals with lab-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in British Columbia as of January 15, 2021. Of all factors identified, it is one of the first reports linking mental illness and substance use with increased risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization. The authors suggest that prioritizing individuals and groups with the identified risk factors could reduce serious COVID-19 outcomes.

Key findings:

  • Factors associated with hospitalization were as follows:
    • male sex;
    • older age;
    • chronic health conditions, particularly, asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and hypertension;
    • intellectual and developmental disabilities;
    • pregnancy in women of reproductive age;
    • alcohol and injection drug use;
    • mental illness (particularly, schizophrenia and psychotic disorders).

 

Velásquez García HA, Wilton J, Smolina K, Chong M, Rasali D, Otterstatter M, Rose, C, Prystajecky, N, David, S, Galanis, E, McKee, G, Krajden M, Zafar Janjua, NZ. Mental health and substance use associated with hospitalization among people with laboratory confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in British Columbia: a population-based cohort study. medRxiv. 2021 Aug 28. doi: 10.1101/2021.08.26.21262697