Analysis of Epidemiological and Clinical Features in Older Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outside Wuhan

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 28;71(15):740-747. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa242.


Background: The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a large threat to public health in China, with high contagious capacity and varied mortality. This study aimed to investigate the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of older patients with COVID-19 outside Wuhan.

Methods: A retrospective study was performed, with collecting data from medical records of confirmed COVID-19 patients in Zhejiang province from 17 January to 12 February 2020. Epidemiological, clinical, and treatment data were analyzed between older (≥ 60 years) and younger (< 60 years) patients.

Results: A total of 788 patients with confirmed COVID-19 were selected; 136 were older patients with corresponding mean age of 68.28 ± 7.31 years. There was a significantly higher frequency of women in older patient group compared with younger patients (57.35% vs 46.47%, P = .021). The presence of coexisting medical conditions was significantly higher in older patients compared with younger patients (55.15% vs 21.93%, P < .001), including the rate of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Significantly higher rates of severe clinical type (older vs younger groups: 16.18% vs 5.98%, P < .001), critical clinical type (8.82% vs 0.77%, P < .001), shortness of breath (12.50% vs 3.07%, P < .001), and temperature of > 39.0°C (13.97% vs 7.21%, P = .010) were observed in older patients compared with younger patients. Finally, higher rates of intensive care unit admission (9.56% vs 1.38%, P < .001) and methylprednisolone application (28.68% vs 9.36%, P < .001) were also identified in older patients compared with younger ones.

Conclusions: The specific epidemiological and clinical features of older COVID-19 patients included significantly higher female sex, body temperature, comorbidities, and rate of severe and critical type disease.

Keywords: COVID-19; Epidemiology; SARS-CoV-2; elderly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus / pathogenicity
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2