Publication Date



JAMA Network Open


IMPORTANCE: Current data identifying COVID-19 risk factors lack standardized outcomes and insufficiently control for confounders.

OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors associated with COVID-19, severe COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This secondary cross-protocol analysis included 4 multicenter, international, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled, COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trials with harmonized protocols established by the COVID-19 Prevention Network. Individual-level data from participants randomized to receive placebo within each trial were combined and analyzed. Enrollment began July 2020 and the last data cutoff was in July 2021. Participants included adults in stable health, at risk for SARS-CoV-2, and assigned to the placebo group within each vaccine trial. Data were analyzed from April 2022 to February 2023.

EXPOSURES: Comorbid conditions, demographic factors, and SARS-CoV-2 exposure risk at the time of enrollment.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Coprimary outcomes were COVID-19 and severe COVID-19. Multivariate Cox proportional regression models estimated adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) and 95% CIs for baseline covariates, accounting for trial, region, and calendar time. Secondary outcomes included severe COVID-19 among people with COVID-19, subclinical SARS-CoV-2 infection, and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RESULTS: A total of 57 692 participants (median [range] age, 51 [18-95] years; 11 720 participants [20.3%] aged ≥65 years; 31 058 participants [53.8%] assigned male at birth) were included. The analysis population included 3270 American Indian or Alaska Native participants (5.7%), 7849 Black or African American participants (13.6%), 17 678 Hispanic or Latino participants (30.6%), and 40 745 White participants (70.6%). Annualized incidence was 13.9% (95% CI, 13.3%-14.4%) for COVID-19 and 2.0% (95% CI, 1.8%-2.2%) for severe COVID-19. Factors associated with increased rates of COVID-19 included workplace exposure (high vs low: aHR, 1.35 [95% CI, 1.16-1.58]; medium vs low: aHR, 1.41 [95% CI, 1.21-1.65]; P < .001) and living condition risk (very high vs low risk: aHR, 1.41 [95% CI, 1.21-1.66]; medium vs low risk: aHR, 1.19 [95% CI, 1.08-1.32]; P < .001). Factors associated with decreased rates of COVID-19 included previous SARS-CoV-2 infection (aHR, 0.13 [95% CI, 0.09-0.19]; P < .001), age 65 years or older (aHR vs age

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this secondary cross-protocol analysis of 4 randomized clinical trials, exposure and demographic factors had the strongest associations with outcomes; results could inform mitigation strategies for SARS-CoV-2 and viruses with comparable epidemiological characteristics.


Adult, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, Demography, Multicenter Studies as Topic, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, SARS-CoV-2, Adolescent, Young Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over



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