Italian SARS-CoV-2 patients in intensive care: towards an identikit for subjects at risk?

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 Sep;24(18):9698-9704. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202009_23061.


Objective: To investigate patient characteristics and factors that increase the risk of being admitted to intensive care and that influence survival in cases of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.

Patients and methods: One-hundred and ninety-one SARS-CoV-2 patients were admitted to the "Fondazione Poliambulanza di Brescia" Hospital (Brescia, Lombardy, Italy) in the period 1st March 2020 to 11th April 2020. Data on demographics, clinical presentation at admission, co-morbidities, pharmacological treatment, admission to intensive care and death was recorded. Logistic regression and survival analysis were carried out to investigate the risk of being admitted to intensive care and the risk of death.

Results: The mean age of the study cohort was 64.6±9.9 years (range 20-88). Median BMI was 28.5±5 kg/m2. Fever (81%) and dyspnea (65%) were the most common symptoms on admission. Most of patients (63%) had at least one co-existing disease. The 157 (82%) patients admitted to intensive care were more likely to be of intermediate age (60-69 years; OR 3.23, 95% CI 1.32-8.38), overweight (OR 2.66, 95% CI 1.02-7.07) or obese (OR 5.63, 95% CI 1.73-21.09) and with lymphocytopenia (OR 2.75, 95% CI 1.17-6.89) than the 34 patients admitted to the ordinary ward. During intensive care, 50% of patients died and their death was associated with older age (HR 2.06, 95% CI 1.07-3.97), obesity (HR 2.23, 95% CI 1.15-4.35) and male gender (HR 1.9, 95% CI 1.02-3.57).

Conclusions: We found that admission to intensive care and poor survival were associated with advanced age and higher body mass index, albeit with differences in statistical significance. Pre-existing diseases and symptoms on admission were not associated with different clinical outcomes. Interestingly, male gender was more prevalent among SARS-CoV-2 patients and was related negatively to survival, but it was not associated with more frequent admission to intensive care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Betacoronavirus
  • Coronavirus Infections / mortality*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2