Prisons in the United States have become a hotbed for spreading COVID-19 among incarcerated individuals. COVID-19 cases among prisoners are on the rise, with more than 143,000 confirmed cases to date. However, there is paucity of data addressing clinical outcomes and mortality in prisoners hospitalized with COVID-19. An observational study of all patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between March 10 and May 10, 2020 at two Henry Ford Health System hospitals in Michigan. Clinical outcomes were compared amongst hospitalized prisoners and non-prisoner patients. The primary outcomes were intubation rates, in-hospital mortality, and 30-day mortality. Multivariable logistic regression and Cox-regression models were used to investigate primary outcomes. Of the 706 hospitalized COVID-19 patients (mean age 66.7 ± 16.1 years, 57% males, and 44% black), 108 were prisoners and 598 were non-prisoners. Compared to non-prisoners, prisoners were more likely to present with fever, tachypnea, hypoxemia, and markedly elevated inflammatory markers. Prisoners were more commonly admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (26.9% vs. 18.7%), required vasopressors (24.1% vs. 9.9%), and intubated (25.0% vs. 15.2%). Prisoners had higher unadjusted inpatient mortality (29.6% vs. 20.1%) and 30-day mortality (34.3% vs. 24.6%). In the adjusted models, prisoner status was associated with higher in-hospital death (odds ratio, 2.32; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.33 to 4.05) and 30-day mortality (hazard ratio, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.33 to 3.00). In this cohort of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, prisoner status was associated with more severe clinical presentation, higher rates of ICU admissions, vasopressors requirement, intubation, in-hospital mortality, and 30-day mortality.
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