Effectiveness of Systemic Corticosteroids Therapy for Nonsevere Patients With COVID-19: A Multicenter, Retrospective, Longitudinal Cohort Study



Corticosteroids were clinically used in the treatment of nonsevere patients with COVID-19, but the efficacy of such treatment lacked sufficient clinical evidence, and the impact of dose had never been studied. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of systemic corticosteroid use (SCU) in nonsevere patients with COVID-19.


We conducted a multicenter retrospective cohort study in Hubei Province. A total of 1726 patients admitted with nonsevere type COVID-19 were included. Mixed-effect Cox model, mixed-effect Cox model with time-varying exposure, multiple linear regression, and propensity score analysis (inverse probability of treatment weight and propensity score matching) were used to explore the association between SCU and progression into severe type, all-cause mortality, and length of stay.


During the follow-up of 30 days, 29.8% of nonsevere patients with COVID-19 received treatment with systemic corticosteroids. The use of systemic corticosteroids was associated with higher probability of developing severe type (adjusted hazard ratio 1.81; 95% confidence interval 1.47-2.21), all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 2.92; 95% confidence interval 1.39-6.15) in time-varying Cox analysis, and prolonged hospitalization (β 4.14; P .001).


Corticosteroid treatment against nonsevere patients with COVID-19 was significantly associated with worse clinical outcomes. The higher dose was significantly associated with elevated risk of poor disease progression. We recommend that SCU should be avoided unless necessary among nonsevere patients with COVID-19.


Zhenyuan Chen Xiaoxv Yin Xiangping Tan Jing Wang Nan Jiang Mengge Tian Hui Li Zuxun Lu Nian Xiong Yanhong Gong

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