Previous studies have reported that a high neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is associated with disease severity and poor prognosis in COVID-19 patients. We aimed to investigate the clinical implications of NLR in patients with COVID-19 complicated with cardiovascular diseases and/or its risk factors (CVDRF). In total, 601 patients with known NLR values were selected from the CLAVIS-COVID registry for analysis. Patients were categorized into quartiles (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4) according to baseline NLR values, and demographic and clinical parameters were compared between the groups. Survival analysis was conducted using the Kaplan–Meier method. The diagnostic performance of the baseline and follow-up NLR values was tested using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Finally, two-dimensional mapping of patient characteristics was conducted using t-stochastic neighborhood embedding (t-SNE). In-hospital mortality significantly increased with an increase in the baseline NLR quartile (Q1 6.3%, Q2 11.0%, Q3 20.5%; and Q4, 26.6%; p < 0.001). The cumulative mortality increased as the quartile of the baseline NLR increased. The paired log-rank test revealed significant differences in survival for Q1 vs. Q3 (p = 0.017), Q1 vs. Q4 (p < 0.001), Q2 vs. Q3 (p = 0.034), and Q2 vs. Q4 (p < 0.001). However, baseline NLR was not identified as an independent prognostic factor using a multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model. The area under the curve for predicting in-hospital death based on baseline NLR was only 0.682, whereas that of follow-up NLR was 0.893. The two-dimensional patient map with t-SNE showed a cluster characterized by high mortality with high NLR at follow-up, but these did not necessarily overlap with the population with high NLR at baseline. NLR may have prognostic implications in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with CVDRF, but its significance depends on the timing of data collection.
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