Background: Since early December 2019, the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan, Hubei province of China. This study aimed to investigate the factors affecting the progression of pneumonia in COVID-19 patients. Associated results will be used to evaluate the prognosis and to find the optimal treatment regimens for COVID-19 pneumonia.
Methods: Patients tested positive for the COVID-19 based on nucleic acid detection were included in this study. Patients were admitted to 3 tertiary hospitals in Wuhan between December 30, 2019, and January 15, 2020. Individual data, laboratory indices, imaging characteristics, and clinical data were collected, and statistical analysis was performed. Based on clinical typing results, the patients were divided into a progression group or an improvement/stabilization group. Continuous variables were analyzed using independent samples t-test or Mann-Whitney U test. Categorical variables were analyzed using Chi-squared test or Fisher's exact test. Logistic regression analysis was performed to explore the risk factors for disease progression.
Results: Seventy-eight patients with COVID-19-induced pneumonia met the inclusion criteria and were included in this study. Efficacy evaluation at 2 weeks after hospitalization indicated that 11 patients (14.1%) had deteriorated, and 67 patients (85.9%) had improved/stabilized. The patients in the progression group were significantly older than those in the disease improvement/stabilization group (66 [51, 70] vs. 37 [32, 41] years, U = 4.932, P = 0.001). The progression group had a significantly higher proportion of patients with a history of smoking than the improvement/stabilization group (27.3% vs. 3.0%, χ = 9.291, P = 0.018). For all the 78 patients, fever was the most common initial symptom, and the maximum body temperature at admission was significantly higher in the progression group than in the improvement/stabilization group (38.2 [37.8, 38.6] vs. 37.5 [37.0, 38.4]°C, U = 2.057, P = 0.027). Moreover, the proportion of patients with respiratory failure (54.5% vs. 20.9%, χ = 5.611, P = 0.028) and respiratory rate (34 [18, 48] vs. 24 [16, 60] breaths/min, U = 4.030, P = 0.004) were significantly higher in the progression group than in the improvement/stabilization group. C-reactive protein was significantly elevated in the progression group compared to the improvement/stabilization group (38.9 [14.3, 64.8] vs. 10.6 [1.9, 33.1] mg/L, U = 1.315, P = 0.024). Albumin was significantly lower in the progression group than in the improvement/stabilization group (36.62 ± 6.60 vs. 41.27 ± 4.55 g/L, U = 2.843, P = 0.006). Patients in the progression group were more likely to receive high-level respiratory support than in the improvement/stabilization group (χ = 16.01, P = 0.001). Multivariate logistic analysis indicated that age (odds ratio [OR], 8.546; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.628-44.864; P = 0.011), history of smoking (OR, 14.285; 95% CI: 1.577-25.000; P = 0.018), maximum body temperature at admission (OR, 8.999; 95% CI: 1.036-78.147, P = 0.046), respiratory failure (OR, 8.772, 95% CI: 1.942-40.000; P = 0.016), albumin (OR, 7.353, 95% CI: 1.098-50.000; P = 0.003), and C-reactive protein (OR, 10.530; 95% CI: 1.224-34.701, P = 0.028) were risk factors for disease progression.
Conclusions: Several factors that led to the progression of COVID-19 pneumonia were identified, including age, history of smoking, maximum body temperature at admission, respiratory failure, albumin, and C-reactive protein. These results can be used to further enhance the ability of management of COVID-19 pneumonia.