Characteristics, comorbidities, 30-day outcome and in-hospital mortality of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in a Swiss area - a retrospective cohort study

Swiss Med Wkly. 2020 Jul 14;150:w20314. doi: 10.4414/smw.2020.20314. eCollection 2020 Jul 13.


Background: Since its first description in December 2019, coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has spread worldwide. There is limited information about presenting characteristics and outcomes of Swiss patients requiring hospitalisation. Furthermore, outcomes 30 days after onset of symptoms and after hospital discharge have not been described.

Aims: To describe the clinical characteristics, outcomes 30 days after onset of symptoms and in-hospital mortality of a cohort of patients hospitalised for COVID-19 in a Swiss area.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we included all inpatients hospitalised with microbiologically confirmed COVID-19 between 1 March and 12 April 2020 in the public hospital network of a Swiss area (Fribourg). Demographic data, comorbidities and outcomes were recorded. Rate of potential hospital-acquired infection, outcomes 30 days after onset of symptoms and in-hospital mortality are reported.

Results: One hundred ninety-six patients were included in the study. In our population, 119 (61%) were male and the median age was 70 years. Forty-nine patients (25%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). The rate of potential hospital-acquired infection was 7%. Overall, 30 days after onset of symptoms 117 patients (60%) had returned home, 23 patients (12%) were in a rehabilitation facility, 18 patients (9%) in a medical ward, 6 patients (3%) in ICU and 32 (16%) patients had died. Among patients who returned home within 30 days, 73 patients (63%) reported persistent symptoms. The overall in-hospital mortality was 17%.

Conclusion: We report the first cohort of Swiss patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Thirty days after onset of the symptoms, 60% had returned home. Among them, 63% still presented symptoms. Studies with longer follow-up are needed to document long-term outcomes in patients hospitalised with COVID-19.

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections* / mortality
  • Coronavirus Infections* / physiopathology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / therapy
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / mortality
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / physiopathology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Symptom Assessment / methods

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2