Introduction: Studies investigating risk factors for severe COVID-19 often lack information on the representativeness of the study population. Here, we investigate factors associated with severe COVID-19 and compare the representativeness of the dataset to the general population. Methods: We used data from the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 infected patients (LEOSS) of hospitalized COVID-19 patients diagnosed in 2020 in Germany to identify associated factors for severe COVID-19, defined as progressing to a critical disease stage or death. To assess the representativeness, we compared the LEOSS cohort to cases of hospitalized patients in the German statutory notification data of the same time period. Descriptive methods and Poisson regression models were used. Results: Overall, 6672 hospitalized patients from LEOSS and 132,943 hospitalized cases from the German statutory notification data were included. In LEOSS, patients above 76 years were less likely represented (34.3% vs. 44.1%). Moreover, mortality was lower (14.3% vs. 21.5%) especially among age groups above 66 years. Factors associated with a severe COVID-19 disease course in LEOSS included increasing age, male sex (adjusted risk ratio (aRR) 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.53–1.86), prior stem cell transplantation (aRR 2.27, 95% CI 1.53–3.38), and an elevated C-reactive protein at day of diagnosis (aRR 2.30, 95% CI 2.03–2.62). Conclusion: We identified a broad range of factors associated with severe COVID-19 progression. However, the results may be less applicable for persons above 66 years since they experienced lower mortality in the LEOSS dataset compared to the statutory notification data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)89
Publication statusPublished - 10.02.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)

Coronavirus related work

  • Research on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19


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