In an October 20 report, NPR’s All Things Considered said that two peer-reviewed studies showed a sharp drop in mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, said NPR.
The drop is seen in all groups, including older patients and those with underlying conditions. One conclusion is that physicians are getting better at helping patients survive their illness.
“We find that the death rate has gone down substantially,” says Leora Horwitz, a doctor who studies population health at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and an author on one of the studies, which looked at thousands of patients from March to August.
In one study, which was of a single health system, mortality dropped among hospitalized patients by 18 percentage points. Patients in the study had a 25.6% chance of dying at the start of the pandemic. Now they have a 7.6% chance.
But 7.6% is still a high risk compared with other diseases, and Horwitz and other researchers caution that COVID-19 remains dangerous.
The death rate “is still higher than many infectious diseases, including the flu,” Horwitz says. And he warned that it is a harmful disease.