COVID-19 research briefs by Essential Evidence Plus (EE+)

 

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the CMA Joule team is working closely with Dr. Mark Ebell, Editor-in-Chief of Essential Evidence Plus (EE+) and the team at Wiley Publishing to share current research summaries with physicians.

*New in 2021* Selected COVID-19 research briefs are published as part of the regular POEMs schedule and will no longer be offered as a weekend supplement or posted below. The briefs are added daily to the American Academy of Family Physicians website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Daily Research Briefs (aafp.org)

Subscribe to receive daily POEMS, refer to the POEMs archive (cma.ca login required) to comment on these summaries or collect CPD credits, or refer to the Essential Evidence Plus COVID-19 website.

Clinical Question

How long do symptoms persist in patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19?

Bottom line

This study provides further evidence of the long-term persistence of COVID-19 symptoms. Approximately 30% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection will have persistent symptoms for at least 60 days. 2c

Clinical Question

Is fluvoxamine a promising treatment for COVID-19?

Bottom line

This small randomized trial finds some benefit with fluvoxamine in the treatment of COVID-19. 2b

Clinical Question

What is the age-specific infection fatality ratio of COVID-19?

Bottom line

The infection fatality rate (IFR) of COVID-19 is lowest in patients aged 5 years to 9 years and is highest among those 80 years and older. 2c

Clinical Question

Does working in health care increase the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19?

Bottom line

Frontline health-care workers and their families are at an increased risk of hospitalization from COVID-19. 2c

Clinical Question

How has the case fatality ratio due to COVID-19 changed since March 2020?

Bottom line

The case fatality rate due to COVID-19 seems to be declining, but it's unclear whether this is caused by more testing, a demographic shift toward younger patients, or better treatment. 2c

Clinical Question

What effect has COVID-19 had on mortality by age, race, and ethnicity in the United States between January 2020 and October 2020?

Bottom line

Since January 2020, the United States has experienced almost 300,000 more deaths than would otherwise have been expected. The largest percentage increases were seen among 25- to 44-year-old persons and among Hispanic persons. Only two-thirds of the excess deaths been classified as COVID-19 deaths, suggesting an undercounting of COVID-19 as a cause of death. 2c

Clinical Question

Can tocilizumab improve symptoms in patients with COVID-19?

Bottom line

RCTs and observational studies of tociluzumab for patients with COVID-19 yield inconsistent results but, overall, results suggest it may not be effective. 2b

Clinical Question

What effect has COVID-19 had on the mortality rate in the United States between March and August 2020?

Bottom line

Between March and August 2020, the United States has experienced 20% more deaths than otherwise would have been expected, two-thirds of which were directly attributed to COVID-19. 2c

Clinical Question

How long do COVID-19 symptoms persist in people with mild to moderate infection?

Bottom line

Symptoms (weight loss, severe dyspnea or asthenia/fatigue, chest pain, palpitations, anosmia/ageusia, headache, cutaneous signs, arthralgia, myalgia, digestive disorders, fever, or sick leave) persist at 60 days for two-thirds of people with mild to moderate COVID infection. 2c

Clinical Question

How effective are tests for diagnosing COVID-19?

Bottom line

The sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction for detection of COVID-19 declines rapidly over time; rapid antigen tests lack sensitivity for diagnosing COVID-19. 2a

 

 

*DisclaimerPOEMs stands for Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters. POEMs is a publication of John Wiley and Sons, Inc. and distributed by CMA Joule as a CMA member service. All content is provided for information and education and not as a substitute for the advice of a physician. CMA Joule assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any error or omission or from the use of any information contained herein.