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Table 1 Baseline characteristics of patients with acute respiratory tract infection openly randomised to rapid (within 24 to 48 hours) or delayed (after eight to twelve days) multiplex PCR assay resultsa

From: Access to a polymerase chain reaction assay method targeting 13 respiratory viruses can reduce antibiotics: a randomised, controlled trial

Variable Rapid analysis group (n= 202) Delayed analysis group (n= 204)
Demographics   
   Median age, yr (IQR) 39 (31 to 50) 39 (31 to 53)
   Male sex, n (%) 79 (39.1) 90 (44.1)
Coexisting illnessesb, n (%)   
   Patients with available data 120 (59.4) 109 (53.4)
   No reported coexisting illness 77 (64.2c) 68 (62.4d)
   Asthma 14 (11.7c) 11 (10.1d)
   COPD 2 (1.7c) -
   Allergies 6 (5.0c) 10 (9.2d)
   Diabetes 2 (1.7c) 1 (0.9d)
   Neoplastic disease 1 (0.8c) 2 (1.8d)
   Autoimmune diseasee 3 (2.5c) 4 (3.7d)
   Ischaemic heart disease/angina 2 (1.7c) 1 (0.9d)
Clinical findings   
   Median duration of symptoms, days (IQR) 5 (3 to 7) 5 (3 to 9)
   Median body temperature, °C (IQR) 37.1 (36.6 to 37.5) 36.9 (36.6 to 37.4)
   Body temperature ≥38.5°C, n (%) 6 (3.0f) 12 (6.0g)
   Median heart rate, beats/minute (IQR) 76 (67 to 88) 78 (70 to 87)
   Tachycardiah, n (%) 19 (9.4) 18 (8.8)
   Median respiratory rate, breaths/min (IQR) 16 (14 to 19) 16 (14 to 19)
   Hypoxiai, n (%) 9 (4.5) 8 (3.9)
Laboratory findings   
   CRP < 50 mg/L, n (%) 122 (83.6j) 140 (90.3k)
   CRP ≥50 mg/L, n (%) 24 (16.4j) 15 (9.7k)
Symptoms, n (%)   
   Coryza 167 (82.7) 171 (83.8)
   Sore throat 153 (75.7) 157 (77.0)
   Headache 149 (74.1) 149 (73.0)
   Dry cough 130 (67.0) 132 (67.0)
   Productive cough 120 (59.4) 108 (52.9)
   Shortness of breath 111 (55.0) 113 (55.4)
   Fever 106 (52.7) 109 (53.4)
   Myalgia 107 (53.0) 100 (49.0)
   Red eyes 83 (41.1) 81 (39.9)
   Joint pain 83 (41.1) 79 (38.7)
   Chest pain 53 (26.2) 40 (19.6)
   Diarrhoea 17 (8.4) 21 (10.3)
   Vomiting 10 (5.0) 16 (7.8)
   Rash 10 (5.0) 13 (6.4)
  1. aIQR, interquartile range; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; CRP, C-reactive protein; bcoexisting illnesses are those likely to influence the decision whether to prescribe antibiotics; conditions not included were fibromyalgia, lumbago, adenoids, migraine, depression, Parkinson's disease, hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis, Gilbert's syndrome, psoriasis, bradycardia, hepatitis C virus, scoliosis and pregnancy; cnumber of patients with data for coexisting illness, rapid analysis group (n = 120); dnumber of patients with data for coexisting illness, delayed analysis group (n = 109); eautoimmune diseases included inflammatory bowel syndrome (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis), systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and multiple sclerosis; fnumber of patients tested for body temperature, rapid analysis group (n = 198); gnumber of patients tested for body temperature, delayed analysis group (n = 201); htachycardia defined as heart rate ≥100 beats/minute; ihypoxia defined as pulse oximetry < 95%; jnumber of patients tested for CRP, rapid analysis group (n = 146); knumber of patients tested for CRP, delayed analysis group (n = 155).