It’s been more than a year since the first confirmed US case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and most states entered their initial lockdowns. One year into the pandemic and we are starting to see hope – three vaccines have been approved and cases are decreasing.
Quest continues to monitor COVID-19 and contributes to the scientific community’s understanding of this new disease. Using laboratory records, Quest was able to evaluate the effect of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test on relative mortality. The study evaluated more than 3.6 million patients with the viral SARS-CoV-2 test. The positivity rate of this patient pool was 9.92%. Mortality data from the Social Security Administration allowed us to identify more than 5,000 deaths among the COVID-tested population. Finally, this patient pool was segmented on the basis of applicant’s age and gender.
Using logistic regression, our model found a positive SARS-CoV-2 test to be a statistically significant predictor of relative mortality across all age and gender divisions. The increase in absolute mortality was less in younger populations but increased in older age groups as the base mortality rate naturally increased with age. A positive SARS-CoV-2 test increased relative mortality even in the youngest people (18- to 30-year-olds), although the absolute effect was comparatively much smaller.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Quest is in a unique position to be able to use the data to help contribute to our understanding of the disease. This mortality study was conducted with the data collected till August 2020. As more testing and mortality data become available, additional analysis of the effect of comorbidity and positive SARS-CoV-2 testing on relative mortality may help to confirm and extend the findings found in other studies. Our understanding of COVID-19.
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