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Table 3 Outcomes according to early corticosteroids use in the first 48 h of ICU admission, compared with never or delayed use

From: Early corticosteroids are associated with lower mortality in critically ill patients with COVID-19: a cohort study

  Whole cohort Never Early p value Delayed p value
n (%)
n IP-weighted (%)
882
455
191 (21.7%)
84 (18.5%)
485 (55.0%)
259 (57.0%)
  206 (23.4%)
112 (24.6%)
 
ICU mortality, cases/person-days 308 (34.9%) / 57,588 70 (36.6%) /11,893 147 (30.3%) /33,147   91 (44.2%) /12,547  
ICU mortality (hazard ratio)   1 (Ref.) 0.75 (0.56–1.00) 0.05 1.10 (0.81–1.50) 0.54
ICU mortality (cases/person-days; hazard ratio) IP-weighted 116 (25.5%) / 33,198 21 (25%) / 5982
1 (Ref.)
52 (20.1%) / 19,821
0.55 (0.31. 0.95)
0.02 43 (38.4%) / 7394
1.06 (0.61–1.85)
0.84
7-day mortality, cases/person-days 72 (8.2%) /4229 29 (15.2%) /864 35 (7.2%) /2355   8 (3.9%) /1009  
7-day mortality (hazard ratio)   1 (Ref.) 0.45 (0.27–0.73) 0.001 0.24 (0.11–0.52)  < 0.001
7-day mortality (cases/person-days; hazard ratio) IP-weighted 27 (6.0%) / 2205 12 (14.3%) / 377
1 (Ref.)
11 (4.2%) / 1276
0.23 (0.10–0.55)
 < 0.001 4 (3.6%) / 553
0.20 (0.06–0.62)
0.006
ICU length of stay, days 17.8 (14.2) 14.2 (13.0) 16.4 (12.5)   24.7 (16.7)  
ICU length of stay (mean difference)   0 (Ref.) 2.2 (− 0.1 to 4.5) 0.06 10.6 (7.9–13.3)  < 0.001
ICU length of stay (days; mean difference) IP-weighted 18.1 (15.0) 13.0 (12.7)
0 (Ref.)
16.1 (12.3)
2.6 (− 1.0 to 6.3)
0.16 26.6 (18.5)
13.0 (8.2. 17.9)
 < 0.001
ICU length of stay among survivors, days 18.0 (14.7) 15.0 (13.0) 16.6 (13.1)   25.7 (18.1)  
ICU length of stay among survivors (mean difference)   0 (Ref.) 1.6 (−1.4 to 4.6) 0.29 10.7 (7.1–14.4)  < 0.001
ICU length of stay among survivors (days; mean difference) IP-weighted 17.7 (15.0) 13.7 (12.4)
0 (Ref.)
15.9 (12.6)
2.0 (−1.7 to 5.7)
0.29 26.7 (19.7)
12.9 (7.1–18.7)
 < 0.001
Ventilatory-free days 8.4 (9.4) 9.6 (10.1) 9.6 (9.5)   4.7 (7.3)  
Ventilatory-free days (mean difference)   0 (Ref.) − 0.00 (− 1.5 to 1.5) 0.99 − 4.9 (− 6.70 to − 3.09)  < 0.001
Ventilatory-free days (days; mean difference) IP-weighted 9.9 (9.4) 12.3 (9.9)
0 (Ref.)
11.3 (9.3)
0.23 (− 2.41 to 2.87)
0.86 5.0 (7.4)
− 5.9 (− 8.7 to − 3.5)
 < 0.001
Medical complications, n (%) 860 (97.5%) 179 (93.7%) 477 (98.3%)   204 (99.0%)  
Medical complications (odds ratio)   1 (Ref.) 4.00 (1.61–9.94) 0.003 6.84 (1.51–30.96) 0.01
Medical complications (n %; odds ratio) IP-weighted 443 (97.4%) 78 (92.9%)
1 (Ref.)
255 (98.5%)
3.72 (1.0–13.87)
0.05 110 (98.21%)
2.95 (0.57–15.32)
0.20
Infectious complications, n (%) 509 (57.7%) 92 (48.2%) 273 (56.3%)   144 (69.9%)  
Infectious complications (odds ratio)   1 (Ref.) 1.39 (0.99–1.94) 0.05 2.50 (1.66–3.77)  < 0.001
Infectious complications (n %; odds ratio) IP-weighted 259 (56.9%) 35 (41.7%)
1 (Ref.)
139 (53.7%)
1.54 (0.89–2.66)
0.12 85 (75.9%)
4.29 (2.23–8.25)
 < 0.001
  1. Statistically significant results are in italics