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Association of Red Blood Cell Distribution Width With Mortality Risk in Hospitalized Adults With SARS-CoV-2 Infection

  • September 23, 2020

This study, funded in-part by a CRICO grant, examined the link between red blood cell width distribution (RWD) and mortality rate for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.


The researchers studied a sample of patients admitted to one of four Boston-area hospitals for COVID-19 infection between March 4, 2020 and April 28, 2020. By measuring the patients’ red blood cell width distribution both at admission and during hospitalization and comparing it to the mortality rate of patients with elevated RWD levels, the relative risk of mortality for these patients could be determined. The data ultimately showed that increased RWD levels were associated with increased mortality risk in patients at these hospitals, suggesting that conducting routine RWD lab tests may be a useful tool in risk stratification for patients hospitalized with COVID-19

Citation for the Full-text Article

Foy BH, Carlson JCT, Reinertsen E, Valls RPI, Lopez RP, Palanques-Tost E, Mow C, Westover MB, Aguirre AD, Higgins JM. Association of red blood cell distribution width with mortality risk in hospitalized adults with SARS-CoV-2 infection. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(9):e2022058. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.22058