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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2022, Volume 16, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11684-021-0854-5

Clinical characteristics and risk factors of COVID-19 patients with chronic hepatitis B: a multi-center retrospective cohort study

Available online: 2022-02-15

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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread globally. Although mixed liver impairment has been reported in COVID-19 patients, the association of liver injury caused by specific subtype especially chronic hepatitis B (CHB) with COVID-19 has not been elucidated. In this multi-center, retrospective, and observational cohort study, 109 CHB and 327 non-CHB patients with COVID-19 were propensity score matched at an approximate ratio of 3:1 on the basis of age, sex, and comorbidities. Demographic characteristics, laboratory examinations, disease severity, and clinical outcomes were compared. Furthermore, univariable and multivariable logistic and Cox regression models were used to explore the risk factors for disease severity and mortality, respectively. A higher proportion of CHB patients (30 of 109 (27.52%)) developed into severe status than non-CHB patients (17 of 327 (5.20%)). In addition to previously reported liver impairment markers, such as alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin, we identified several novel risk factors including elevated lactate dehydrogenase (≥245 U/L, hazard ratio (HR) = 8.639, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.528–29.523; P <0.001) and coagulation-related biomarker D-dimer (≥0.5 μg/mL, HR= 4.321, 95% CI= 1.443–12.939; P = 0.009) and decreased albumin (<35 g/L, HR= 0.131, 95% CI= 0.048–0.361; P <0.001) and albumin/globulin ratio (<1.5, HR= 0.123, 95% CI= 0.017–0.918; P = 0.041). In conclusion, COVID-19 patients with CHB were more likely to develop into severe illness and die. The risk factors that we identified may be helpful for early clinical surveillance of critical progression.

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