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Description and comparison of demographic characteristics and comorbidities in SARI from COVID-19, SARI from influenza, and the Brazilian general population.

Abstract

The study aims to describe patients hospitalized for severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) due to COVID-19 (SARI-COVID) in Brazil according to demographic characteristics and comorbidities up to the 21st Epidemiological Week of 2020. The study aimed to compare these characteristics with those of patients hospitalized for SARI due to influenza in 2019/2020 (SARI-FLU) and with the Brazilian general population. The proportions of demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and pregnant and postpartum women among patients hospitalized for SARI-COVID and SARI-FLU were obtained from the SIVEP-Gripe database, and the estimates for the Brazilian population were obtained from the population projections performed by Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, Information System on Live Birth data, and nationwide surveys. Compared to the Brazilian population, patients hospitalized for SARI-COVID showed a higher proportion of males, elderly individuals and those aged 40 to 59 years, comorbidities (diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and chronic lung diseases), and pregnant/postpartum women. Compared to the general population, Brazilians hospitalized for SARI-FLU showed higher prevalence rates of ages 0 to 4 years or over 60 years, white race/color, comorbidities (diabetes, chronic kidney disease, asthma, and other chronic lung diseases), and pregnant/postpartum women. The data suggest that these groups are evolving to more serious forms of the disease, so that longitudinal studies are extremely relevant for investigating this hypothesis and supporting appropriate public health policies.

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