Background: The mortality risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is higher in patients with older age, and many elderly patients are reported to require advanced respiratory support.
Methods: We reviewed medical records of 98 patients aged ≥ 65 years who were hospitalized with COVID-19 during a regional outbreak in Daegu/Gyeongsangbuk-do province of Korea. The outcome measures were in-hospital mortality and the treatment with mechanical ventilation (MV) or high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC).
Results: The median age of the patients was 72 years; 55.1% were female. Most (74.5%) had at least one underlying condition. Overall case fatality rate (CFR) was 20.4%, and median time to death after admission was 8 days. The CFR was 6.1% among patients aged 65-69 years, 22.7% among those aged 70-79 years, and 38.1% among those aged ≥ 80 years. The CFR among patients who required MV was 43.8%, and the proportion of patients received MV/HFNC was 28.6%. Nosocomial acquisition, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, and chronic neurologic diseases were significant risk factors for both death and MV/HFNC. Hypotension, hypoxia, and altered mental status on admission were also associated with poor outcome. CRP > 8.0 mg/dL was strongly associated with MV/HFNC (odds ratio, 26.31; 95% confidence interval, 7.78-88.92; P < 0.001), and showed better diagnostic characteristics compared to commonly used clinical scores.
Conclusion: Patients aged ≥ 80 years had a high risk of requiring MV/HFNC, and mortality among those severe patients was very high. Severe initial presentation and laboratory abnormalities, especially high CRP, were identified as risk factors for mortality and severe hospital course.
Keywords: COVID-19; Elderly; Outcome; Risk Factors.
© 2020 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.