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Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were more likely to die than those hospitalized with influenza during the fall and winter of 2023-2024, according to an analysis of Veterans Affairs data.

Among over 11,000 patients hospitalized for either illness during this past fall and winter, 5.7% of patients with COVID-19 died within 30 days of admission versus 4.24% of patients with influenza, reported Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, of the VA St. Louis Health Care System, and colleagues.

After adjusting for variables, the risk of death in people hospitalized for COVID-19 was 35% higher (adjusted HR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10-1.66), the authors detailed in a research letter in JAMA.

Al-Aly told MedPage Today that his group was actually surprised by the results. "We pretty much bought into the public narrative and drank the Kool-Aid like everybody, thinking that COVID is no longer [more deadly than the flu], although ... there was no data," he said. "But the verdict is out now, because we've analyzed the data from the 2023-2024 COVID season and clearly COVID mortality is still higher than the flu."

Head over to MedPage Today to read more about it.