Serum Sodium, Patient Symptoms, and Clinical Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19.
Introduction: Disorders of serum sodium (SNa) are common in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and may reflect underlying disease severity. However, the association of SNa with patient-reported outcomes is not clear.
Methods: The Brigham and Women's Hospital COVID-19 Registry is a prospective cohort study of consecutively admitted adult patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 809). We examined the associations of SNa (continuous and tertiles) on admission with: (1) patient symptoms obtained from detailed chart review; and (2) in-hospital mortality, length of stay, and intensive care unit (ICU) admission using unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models. Covariates included demographic data and comorbidities.
Results: Mean age was 60 years, 48% were male, and 35% had diabetes. The most frequent symptoms were cough (64%), fever (60%), and shortness of breath (56%). In adjusted models, higher SNa (per mmol/L) was associated with lower odds of GI symptoms (OR 0.96; 95% CI 0.92-0.99), higher odds of confusion (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.04-1.13), in-hospital mortality (OR 1.06; 95% CI 1.02-1.11), and ICU admission (OR 1.09; 95% CI 1.05-1.13). The highest sodium tertile (compared with the middle tertile) showed similar associations, in addition to lower odds of either anosmia or ageusia (OR 0.30; 95% CI 0.12-0.74).
Conclusion: In this prospective cohort study of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, hypernatremia was associated with higher odds of confusion and in-hospital mortality. These findings may aid providers in identifying high-risk patients who warrant closer attention, thereby furthering patient-centered approaches to care.