Comparison of characteristics and outcomes of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 during wave-1 and wave-2 of the current pandemic

David Fluck, Suzanne Rankin, Andrea Lewis, Jonathan Robin, Jacqui Rees, Jo Finch, Yvonne Jones, Gareth Jones, Kevin Kelly, Paul Murray, Michael Wood, Chris H Fry, Thang Sieu Han*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


In this study of patients admitted with COVID-19, we examined differences between the two waves in patient characteristics and outcomes. Data were collected from the first COVID-19 admission to the end of study (01/03/2020–31/03/2021). Data were adjusted for age and sex and presented as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Among 12,471 admissions, 1452 (11.6%) patients were diagnosed with COVID-19. On admission, the mean (± SD) age of patients with other causes was 68.3 years (± 19.8) and those with COVID-19 in wave 1 was 69.4 years (± 18.0) and wave 2 was 66.2 years (± 18.4). Corresponding ages at discharge were 67.5 years (± 19.7), 63.9 years (± 18.0) and 62.4 years (± 18.0). The highest proportion of total admissions was among the oldest group (≥ 80 years) in wave 1 (35.0%). When compared with patients admitted with other causes, those admitted with COVID-19 in wave 1 and in wave 2 were more frequent in the 40–59 year band: 20.8, 24.6 and 30.0%; consisted of more male patients: 47.5, 57.6 and 58.8%; and a high LACE (Length of stay, Acuity of admission, Comorbidity and Emergency department visits) index (score ≥ 10): 39.4, 61.3 and 50.3%. Compared to wave-2 patients, those admitted in wave 1 had greater risk of death in hospital: OR = 1.58 (1.18–2.12) and within 30 days of discharge: OR = 2.91 (1.40–6.04). Survivors of COVID-19 in wave 1 stayed longer in hospital (median = 6.5 days; interquartile range = 2.9–12.0) as compared to survivors from wave 2 (4.5 days; interquartile range = 1.9–8.7). Patient characteristics differed significantly between the two waves of COVID-19 pandemic. There was an improvement in outcomes in wave 2, including shorter length of stay in hospital and reduction of mortality.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalInternal and emergency medicine
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Mortality
  • Frequent readmission
  • Length of stay
  • Coronavirus
  • LACE index


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