Epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory findings for patients of different age groups with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a hospital in Saudi Arabia

PLoS One. 2021 Apr 29;16(4):e0250955. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250955. eCollection 2021.


Background: Although the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to rage worldwide, clinical and laboratory studies of this disease have been limited in many countries. We investigated the epidemiologic, clinical, and laboratory findings of COVID-19 infected patients to identify the effective indicators correlated with the disease.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted at King Abdullah Hospital in Bisha Province, Saudi Arabia, from March 20 to June 30, 2020. Patients of different age groups were confirmed as having COVID-19 infection using a real-time polymerase chain reaction. The demographic, clinical, and laboratory data of the patients were statistically analyzed.

Results: Of the 132 patients, 85 were male and 47 were female, with a mean age of 50.9 years (SD±16.7). The patients were elderly (n = 29) and adults (n = 103). Of these, 54 (40.9%) had comorbidities, (25%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and 12 (9.1%) died. On admission, the main clinical manifestations were fever (84.1%), cough (64.4%), shortness of breath (25%), chest pain (20.5%), and fatigue (18.2%). In all patients, increased neutrophils and decreased lymphocytes were observed. Patients' lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was elevated. C-reactive protein (CRP) was elevated in 48.5%, D-dimer in 43.2%, and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) in 40.9% of patients. The elderly showed higher neutrophil (p = 0.011) and lower lymphocyte (p = 0.009) counts than adults. Glucose, creatine kinase-MB, LDH, bilirubin, D-dimer, and ESR were significantly higher in the elderly than in the adults. The COVID-19 death group had a higher leucocyte count (p = 0.036), and higher urea (p = 0.029) and potassium (p = 0.022) than the recovered group but had a lower hemoglobin concentration (p = 0.018). A significant association was determined between COVID-19 death and the presence of cardiovascular disease (χ2(1) = 16.297, p<0.001), hypertension (χ2(1) = 12.034, p = 0.001), renal failure (χ2(1) = 3.843, p = 0. 05), old age (t (130) = 4.9, p <0.001), and ICU admission (χ2(1) = 17.6 (1), p<0.001).

Conclusions: Investigating some of the laboratory and clinical parameters could help assess the disease progression, risk of mortality, and follow up patients who could progress to a fatal condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • COVID-19 / blood
  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Chest Pain / complications
  • Cough / complications
  • Dyspnea / complications
  • Female
  • Fever / complications
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products / analysis
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • fibrin fragment D

Grants and funding

Funding: This research was funded by Deanship of Scientific Research, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia (https://www.ub.edu.sa/web/dsr) (Grant number: UB-COVID-13-1441) to MEI, MMA, OSA and MAA. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.