Washington: Scientists have identified three different types of COVID-19 disease traits in patients, depending on their comorbidities, complications, and clinical outcomes, an advance that may help target future interventions to the most risk-prone individuals.
The new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, analysed the electronic health records (EHRs) from 14 hospitals in the midwestern US and from 60 primary care clinics in the state of Minnesota.
According to the researchers, including those from the University of Minnesota in the US, the study included 7,538 patients with confirmed COVID-19 between March 7 and August 25, 2020, of which 1,022 patients required hospitalisation.
Close to 60 per cent of the patients included in the research presented with what the researchers called "phenotype II."
They said about 23 per cent of the patients presented with "phenotype I," or the "adverse phenotype," which was associated with the worst clinical outcomes.
The researchers said these patients had the highest level of comorbidies related to heart and kidney dysfunction.
According to the study, 173 patients, or 16.9 per cent presented with "phenotype III," or the "favorable phenotype," which the scientists said was associated with the best clinical outcomes.
While this group had the lowest complication rate and mortality, the scientists said these patients had the highest rate of respiratory comorbidities as well as a 10 per cent greater risk of hospital readmission compared to the other phenotypes.
Overall, they said phenotypes I and II were associated with 7.30-fold and 2.57-fold increases in hazard of death relative to phenotype III.
Based on the results, the scientists said such phenotype-specific medical care could improve COVID-19 outcomes.
However, they believe further studies are needed to determine the utility of these findings in clinical practice.
"Patients do not suffer from COVID-19 in a uniform matter. By identifying similarly affected groups, we not only improve our understanding of the disease process, but this enables us to precisely target future interventions to the highest risk patients," the scientists added.
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Hong Kong, Oct 25: Amnesty International said Monday it would close its two offices in Hong Kong this year, becoming the latest non-governmental organization to cease its operations amid a crackdown on political dissent in the city.
The human rights group said its local office in Hong Kong would close this month while its regional office will close by the end of the year, with regional operations moved to other offices in the Asia-Pacific region.
This decision, made with a heavy heart, has been driven by Hong Kong's national security law, which has made it effectively impossible for human rights organizations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government, Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chair of Amnesty's board, said in a statement.
Hong Kong implemented a sweeping national security law in 2020 following months of massive anti-government protests. The law outlaws secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and foreign collusion to intervene in the city's affairs. More than 120 people, many of them supporters of the city's democracy movement, have been arrested under the law.
The majority of the city's prominent pro-democracy activists are behind bars for taking part in unauthorized assemblies, and dozens of political organizations and trade unions have ceased operations out of concern for their members' personal safety under the security law.
Bais said the recent targeting of local human rights and trade union groups signaled authorities were intensifying their campaign to rid the city of dissenting voices. It is increasingly difficult for us to keep operating in such an unstable environment, she said.
Critics in Hong Kong say the national security law is an erosion of freedoms, such as those of expression and assembly, that were promised the city for 50 years when the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997.