Risk factors for severity and mortality in adult COVID-19 inpatients in Wuhan

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020 Jul;146(1):110-118. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.04.006. Epub 2020 Apr 12.


Background: In December 2019, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak occurred in Wuhan. Data on the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with severe COVID-19 are limited.

Objective: We sought to evaluate the severity on admission, complications, treatment, and outcomes of patients with COVID-19.

Methods: Patients with COVID-19 admitted to Tongji Hospital from January 26, 2020, to February 5, 2020, were retrospectively enrolled and followed-up until March 3, 2020. Potential risk factors for severe COVID-19 were analyzed by a multivariable binary logistic model. Cox proportional hazard regression model was used for survival analysis in severe patients.

Results: We identified 269 (49.1%) of 548 patients as severe cases on admission. Older age, underlying hypertension, high cytokine levels (IL-2R, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α), and high lactate dehydrogenase level were significantly associated with severe COVID-19 on admission. The prevalence of asthma in patients with COVID-19 was 0.9%, markedly lower than that in the adult population of Wuhan. The estimated mortality was 1.1% in nonsevere patients and 32.5% in severe cases during the average 32 days of follow-up period. Survival analysis revealed that male sex, older age, leukocytosis, high lactate dehydrogenase level, cardiac injury, hyperglycemia, and high-dose corticosteroid use were associated with death in patients with severe COVID-19.

Conclusions: Patients with older age, hypertension, and high lactate dehydrogenase level need careful observation and early intervention to prevent the potential development of severe COVID-19. Severe male patients with heart injury, hyperglycemia, and high-dose corticosteroid use may have a high risk of death.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; mortality; risk factors; severity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult