Epidemiology of COVID-19 in Older Persons, Wuhan, China

Age Ageing. 2020 Jun 25;afaa145. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afaa145. Online ahead of print.


Background: The epidemiological characteristics of older patients with COVID-19 was far from clear.

Objective: To explore the epidemiology of older patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China.

Design: A retrospective cross-sectional study.

Setting: A population-based study.

Subjects: The resident older patients (older than 65 years old) diagnosed with COVID-19.

Methods: Citywide case series reported to Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention from 12 December 2019 to 17 March 2020 were included. The epidemic curves were constructed by dates of disease onset.

Results: 14238 confirmed COVID-19 cases were older persons. The number of male cases were slightly less than female cases (1:1.01). The attack rate of COVID-19 in the older persons was 11.49‰ in Wuhan. There was a rapid increase of disease at the early stage of the epidemic and then a gradual and steady decrease was performed. 3,723 (26.15%) and 734 (5.16%) patients were diagnosed as severe and critical cases, respectively. The attributable crude fatality ratio of COVID-19 in the older population was 222.57/100,000, and the crude fatality ratio of COVID was 19.37%. The proportion of severe and critical cases, and fatality ratio were both higher in downtown area and increased with age.

Conclusions: The older persons are sensitive to COVID-19. The proportion of severe and critical cases and fatality ratio are higher than that in children and younger adults. Strengthen the protection and control strategies for the older adults is of priorities. More detailed epidemiological and clinical information should be measured in further studies.

Keywords: COVID-19; epidemiological; older people.