Characteristics and outcomes of hospitalized adults with COVID-19 in Nepal: a multicenter, prospective cohort study
Keywords:Epidemiology, Nepal, South Asia, yoga
Introduction: There is limited data on clinical course and outcomes of hospitalized adults with COVID-19 in Nepal. Thus, it is imperative to characterize the features of this disease in the domestic context.
Methodology: We identified all adult patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 admitted to five different hospitals in Nepal from June 15 to July 15, 2020. We collected epidemiological, socio-cultural and clinicopathologic data, and stratified the patients based on their symptom status.
Results: The study included 220 patients with an overall median age of 31.5 (25-37) years, and 181 (82.3%) were males. 159 (72.3%) were asymptomatic, and 163 (74.1%) were imported cases. Of 217 patients with the available data, 110 (50.7%) reported their annual household income less than 2000 US dollars, and 122 (56.2%) practiced Pranayama (yogic rhythmic breathing techniques) regularly. Eight patients (3.6%) required supplemental oxygen and two patients (0.9%) died. None of the patients who practiced Pranayama regularly required supplemental oxygen. Compared to asymptomatic patients, symptomatic patients had greater proportion of females (31.1% vs. 12.6%, p = 0.001), imported cases (85.2% vs. 69.8%, p = 0.02), illiterates (26.8% vs. 12.1%, p = 0.01), alcohol users (43.3% vs. 24.5%, p = 0.01), and had higher platelet count (253×109/L vs. 185×109/L, p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Most cases were imported, asymptomatic young males, with very few deaths. Pranayama practice was associated with protection against severe COVID-19, but more data is needed to substantiate this. The association of platelets count with symptom status in the Nepalese population needs further exploration.
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