BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Reports comparing the characteristics of patients and their clinical outcomes between community-acquired (CA) and hospital-acquired (HA) COVID-19 have not yet been reported in the literature . We aimed to characterise and compare clinical, biochemical and haematological features, in addition to clinical outcomes, between these patients .
METHODS: This multi-centre, retrospective, observational study enrolled 488 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients - 339 with CA infection and 149 with HA infection . All patients were admitted to a hospital within the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust between March 7th and May 18th , 2020 .
RESULTS: The CA cohort comprised of a significantly younger population, median age 75 years, versus 80 years in the HA cohort (P = 0·0002). Significantly less patients in the HA group experienced fever (P = 0·03) and breathlessness (P <0·0001). Furthermore, significantly more patients had anaemia and hypoalbuminaemia in the HA group, compared to the CA group (P <0·0001 for both). Hypertension and a lower median BMI were also significantly more pronounced in the HA cohort (P = 0·03 and P = 0·0001, respectively). The mortality rate was not significantly different between the two cohorts (34% in the CA group and 32% in the HA group, P = 0·64). However, the CA group required significantly greater ICU care (10% versus 3% in the HA group, P = 0·009).
CONCLUSION: Hospital-acquired and community-acquired COVID-19 display similar rates of mortality despite significant differences in baseline characteristics of the respective patient populations . Delineation of community- and hospital-acquired COVID-19 in future studies on COVID-19 may allow for more accurate interpretation of results.