JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jan 4;5(1):e2143407. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.43407.
IMPORTANCE: People experiencing incarceration (PEI) and people experiencing homelessness (PEH) have an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure from congregate living, but data on their hospitalization course compared with that of the general population are limited.
OBJECTIVE: To compare COVID-19 hospitalizations for PEI and PEH with hospitalizations among the general population.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cross-sectional analysis used data from the Premier Healthcare Database on 3415 PEI and 9434 PEH who were evaluated in the emergency department or were hospitalized in more than 800 US hospitals for COVID-19 from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
EXPOSURES: Incarceration or homelessness.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Hospitalization proportions were calculated. and outcomes (intensive care unit admission, invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV], mortality, length of stay, and readmissions) among PEI and PEH were compared with outcomes for all patients with COVID-19 (not PEI or PEH). Multivariable regression was used to adjust for potential confounders.
RESULTS: In total, 3415 PEI (2952 men [86.4%]; mean [SD] age, 50.8 [15.7] years) and 9434 PEH (6776 men [71.8%]; mean [SD] age, 50.1 [14.5] years) were evaluated in the emergency department for COVID-19 and were hospitalized more often (2170 of 3415 [63.5%] PEI; 6088 of 9434 [64.5%] PEH) than the general population (624 470 of 1 257 250 [49.7%]) (P < .001). Both PEI and PEH hospitalized for COVID-19 were more likely to be younger, male, and non-Hispanic Black than the general population. Hospitalized PEI had a higher frequency of IMV (410 [18.9%]; adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 1.16; 95% CI, 1.04-1.30) and mortality (308 [14.2%]; aRR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.11-1.47) than the general population (IMV, 88 897 [14.2%]; mortality, 84 725 [13.6%]). Hospitalized PEH had a lower frequency of IMV (606 [10.0%]; aRR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.58-0.70) and mortality (330 [5.4%]; aRR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.47-0.59) than the general population. Both PEI and PEH had longer mean (SD) lengths of stay (PEI, 9  days; PEH, 11  days) and a higher frequency of readmission (PEI, 128 [5.9%]; PEH, 519 [8.5%]) than the general population (mean [SD] length of stay, 8  days; readmission, 28 493 [4.6%]).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cross-sectional study, a higher frequency of COVID-19 hospitalizations for PEI and PEH underscored the importance of adhering to recommended prevention measures. Expanding medical respite may reduce hospitalizations in these disproportionately affected populations.