Two-year impact of COVID-19 pandemic on hospitalized patients with skin diseases in China

J Med Virol. 2023 Feb;95(2):e28511. doi: 10.1002/jmv.28511.


To investigate the clinical characteristics of skin disorders among hospitalized patients before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a retrospective study was conducted based on hospitalized patients with skin diseases from Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, the largest hospital in the south-central region of China, between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2021. A total of 3039 hospitalized patients were enrolled in the study, including 1681 patients in the prepandemic group and 1358 patients in the pandemic group. The total number of hospitalized patients in the pandemic group decreased by 19.2%, with an increased proportion of patients over 60 years of age (39.8% vs. 35.8%). Moreover, compared with the prepandemic group, there were decreases in the occurrence of most skin diseases in the pandemic group, but the proportions of keratinolytic carcinoma (6.6% vs. 5.2%), dermatitis (24.0% vs. 18.9%), and psoriasis (18.0% vs. 14.8%) were higher in the pandemic group. In addition, longer hospital stays (β = 0.07, SE = 0.02, P = 1.35 × 10-3 ) and higher hospital costs (β = 0.06, SE = 0.03, p = 0.031) were found in the pandemic group through general linear models, even after the corresponding adjustment. In summary, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on patients with skin diseases, with fewer hospitalized patients, increased proportions of older patients, longer hospital stays, and increased hospital costs. These findings will facilitate better preparation for the most effective response to future pandemics.

Keywords: COVID-19; hospital costs; hospital stays; hospitalized patients; skin diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • China / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Skin Diseases*