Database analysis of 11,721 hospitalized patients, 4,232 on HCQ. Strong evidence for confounding by indication
and compassionate use of HCQ. 24.9% of HCQ patients were on mechanical ventilation versus 12.2% control. Ventilation mortality was 70.5% versus 11.6%.
This study does not adjust for the differences in comorbid conditions and disease severity, and therefore does not make a conclusion. Unadjusted HCQ mortality was 24.8% versus control 19.6%. Adjusting for ventilation only gives us 17.7% HCQ versus 19.6% control (adjusting the HCQ group to have the same proportion of ventilation patients), RR 0.90. Hopefully authors can do a full adjustment analysis. Comorbidities may favor control, while patients remaining in the hospital (5.3%) may favor HCQ (other studies show faster resolution for HCQ patients).
Data inconsistencies have been found in this study, for example 99.4% of patients treated with HCQ were treated in urban hospitals, compared to 65% of untreated patients (Supplemental Table 3), while patients are distributed in a more balanced manner between teaching or not-teaching hospitals, as well as in the most urbanized (Northeast) and less urbanized (Midwest) regions of the United States [academic.oup.com]
Fried et al., 8/28/2020, retrospective, database analysis, USA, North America, peer-reviewed, 11 authors.