Today, Sema4 scientists released results from an analysis of patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 at five hospitals in the Mount Sinai Health System. Spanning more than 28,000 patients, this is one of the largest and most racially diverse COVID-19 studies performed in the U.S. to date. The study findings were posted as a preprint on medRxiv.
Our team analyzed de-identified electronic medical records from 28,336 patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 at Mount Sinai Health System hospitals in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens between February 24 and April 15. Of those patients, 6,158 tested positive for the coronavirus and 3,273 were admitted to the hospital.
Consistent with other reports, this study confirmed that COVID-19 prevalence in African Americans and Hispanics is disproportionately high in New York City. However, for patients admitted to the hospital, our analysis found no differences in mortality rates based on ethnicity, indicating that in-patient care helps to address this healthcare disparity.
We also identified several risk factors linked to increased mortality rates for COVID-19 patients, including age, oxygen levels, body mass index, and elevated creatinine, among others. Asthma was associated with longer hospital stays, but did not appear to be linked to increased mortality rates. The study, which found higher mortality rates at hospitals where patients had more severe cases upon entry, can also be used to guide neighborhood-based testing for SARS-CoV-2.
Dr. Li Li, Sema4’s Vice President of Clinical Information and an Assistant Professor in Mount Sinai’s Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, who was one of the lead scientists on this project, commented: “In a thorough review of published studies investigating COVID-19 mortality rates, we found unintentional biases, such as small sample size, that limited the broader utility of the data. By including all patients tested at these five member hospitals and performing advanced statistical modeling including multivariate analyses, we have removed that bias and generated findings that should be more useful in improving the understanding of which clinical features track with disease progression and associated outcomes.”
This is just one effort among many here at Sema4 designed to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the state of Connecticut and regional healthcare providers, we are performing rapid molecular testing for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on a scale of about 6,000 tests per week. We are also involved in several COVID-19-focused research programs, such as accelerating the development of quantitative, serum-based antibody tests, which will not only allow healthcare providers to understand the extent of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but will also identify people who have previously been exposed to the virus and developed immunity. Finally, we’re using sophisticated genome sequencing technology to track the evolution and spread of SARS-CoV-2, which we plan to combine with multi-dimensional patient data to build predictive modeling for clinical outcomes.
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