BACKGROUND: This retrospective study aimed to investigate outcomes and hospitalization rates in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of early COVID-19 treated at home with prescribed and non-prescribed treatments.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The medical records of a cohort of 158 Italian patients with early COVID-19 treated at home were analyzed. Treatments consisted of indomethacin, low-dose aspirin, omeprazole, and a flavonoid-based food supplement, plus azithromycin, low-molecular-weight heparin, and betamethasone as needed. The association of treatment timeliness and of clinical variables with the duration of symptoms and with the risk of hospitalization was evaluated by logistic regression.
RESULTS: Patients were divided into 2 groups: group 1 (n=85) was treated at the earliest possible time (72 h after the onset of symptoms. Clinical severity at the beginning of treatment was similar in the 2 groups. In group 1, symptom duration was shorter than in group 2 (median 6.0 days vs 13.0 days, P<0.001) and no hospitalizations occurred, compared with 19.18% hospitalizations in group 2. One patient in group 1 developed chest X-ray alterations and 2 patients experienced an increase in D-dimer levels, compared with 30 and 22 patients, respectively, in group 2. The main factor determining the duration of symptoms and the risk of hospitalization was the delay in starting therapy (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: This real-world study of patients in the community showed that early diagnosis and early supportive patient management reduced the severity of COVID-19 and reduced the rate of hospitalization.