Characteristics and Risk Factors of Hospitalized and Nonhospitalized COVID-19 Patients, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, March–April 2020

Kristen Pettrone; Eleanor Burnett; Ruth Link-Gelles; Sarah C. Haight; Caroline Schrodt; Lucinda England; Danica J. Gomes; Mays Shamout; Kevin O'Laughlin; Anne Kimball; Erin F. Blau; Chandresh N. Ladva; Christine M. Szablewski; Melissa Tobin-D'Angelo; Nadine Oosmanally; Cherie Drenzek; Sean D. Browning; Beau B. Bruce; Juliana da Silva; Jeremy A.W. Gold; Brendan R. Jackson; Sapna Bamrah Morris; Pavithra Natarajan; Robyn Neblett Fanfair; Priti R. Patel; Jessica Rogers-Brown; John Rossow; Karen K. Wong; David J. Murphy; James M. Blum; Julie Hollberg; Benjamin Lefkove; Frank W. Brown; Tom Shimabukuro; Claire M. Midgley; Jacqueline E. Tate; Marie E. Killerby


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2021;27(4):1164-1168. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


We compared the characteristics of hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients who had coronavirus disease in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. We found that risk for hospitalization increased with a patient's age and number of concurrent conditions. We also found a potential association between hospitalization and high hemoglobin A1c levels in persons with diabetes.


Information about care-seeking behavior, symptom duration, and risk factors for progression to severe illness in nonhospitalized patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) aids in resource planning, disease identification, risk stratification, and clinical management of nonhospitalized patients.[1–6] We built on a previous analysis comparing hospitalized and nonhospitalized COVID-19 patients, which found that hospitalized patients were more likely to be ≥65 years of age, men, Black, diabetic, or obese.[7] We describe symptom patterns, duration of illness, and care-seeking behavior among nonhospitalized patients and explore the relationships between hospitalization and the number, control, and interaction of concurrent medical conditions and age. We defined control as how well a disease is managed in the patient, as measured by hemoglobin A1c levels in diabetics, number of classes of hypertension medication being taken by patients with hypertension, and BMI among patients with obesity.