Acute Care of Older Patients with COVID-19: Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes

Geriatrics (Basel). 2020 Sep 27;5(4):E65. doi: 10.3390/geriatrics5040065.


(1) Background: COVID-19 has become a global pandemic and older patients present higher mortality rates. However, studies on the characteristics of this population set are limited. The objective of this study is to describe clinical characteristics and outcomes of older patients hospitalized with COVID-19. (2) Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted from March to May 2020 and took place in three acute geriatric wards in France. Older patients hospitalized for COVID-19 infections were included. We collected clinical, radiological, and laboratory outcomes. (3) Results: Ninety-four patients were hospitalized and included in the final analysis. Mean age was 85.5 years and 55% were female. Sixty-four (68%) patients were confirmed COVID-19 cases and 30 (32%) were probable. A majority of patients were dependent (77%), 45% were malnourished, and the mean number of comorbidities was high in accordance with the CIRS-G score (12.3 ± 25.6). The leading causes of hospitalization were fever (30%), dyspnea (28%), and geriatric syndromes (falls, delirium, malaise) (18%). Upon follow-up, 32% presented acute respiratory failure and 30% a geriatric complication. Frailty and geriatric characteristics were not correlated with mortality. Acute respiratory failure (p = 0.03) and lymphopenia (p = 0.02) were significantly associated with mortality. (4) Conclusions: Among older patients hospitalized with COVID-19, clinical presentations were frequently atypical and complications occurred frequently. Frailty and geriatric characteristics were not correlated with mortality.

Keywords: COVID-19; frailty; mortality; older adults.