Discovery of four COVID-19 risk groups helps guide treatment

Content originally from Medical Research Council

People who are admitted to hospital with COVID-19 can be divided into four distinct groups, according to data from the world’s largest study of patients with the disease.

Researchers identified the groups using clinical information and tests carried out upon arrival at hospital to predict the patients’ risk of death – ranging from low to very high.

A Covid-19 risk identification tool – the most accurate to date – has been designed using the groupings to help clinical staff choose the best course of treatment for patients admitted to hospital.

The tool was built by the ISARIC Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium involving researchers from Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and Imperial College London using data from some 35,000 patients admitted to hospital between February and May 2020 who met the criteria for one of the four groups.

The tool was then tested and confirmed to be accurate using data from a further 22,000 patients hospitalised from the end of May to the end of June 2020.

The research was funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and by the Department of Health and Social Care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) as part of the UK Government’s COVID-19 rapid research response. 

Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council, part of UKRI, said: “These results highlight the benefits of being prepared in advance of the emergence of new pandemics such as COVID-19. ISARIC is a global network of clinicians and scientists that was set up in 2012 in readiness for a pandemic such as COVID-19, and its value is evident from the findings described today.”

Read the full story on the UKRI website.