Hypercalcemia as a Biomarker of Poor Prognosis in Frail Elderly Patients with COVID-19

J Nutr Health Aging. 2021;25(10):1140-1144. doi: 10.1007/s12603-021-1690-7.


The objective of this cohort study was to determine whether hypercalcemia in early COVID-19 was associated with 3-month mortality in frail elderly patients. Circulating calcium and albumin concentrations at hospital admission and 3-month mortality were assessed in geriatric patients hospitalized for COVID-19 with normal-to-high calcium concentrations. Hypercalcemia was defined as corrected calcium >2.5mmol/L. Covariables were age, sex, functional abilities, malignancies, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, number of acute health issues, use antibiotics and respiratory treatments. In total, 94 participants (mean±SD 88.0±5.5years; 47.9% women; 22.3% hypercalcemia; 0% hypocalcemia) were included. Sixty-five participants who survived at 3months exhibited less often hypercalcemia at baseline than the others (13.9% versus 41.4%, P=0.003). Hypercalcemia was associated with 3-month mortality (fully-adjusted HR=3.03, P=0.009) with specificity=0.86 and sensitivity=0.41. Those with hypercalcemia had shorter survival time than those with normocalcemia (log-rank P=0.002). In conclusion, hypercalcemia was associated with poorer survival in hospitalized frail elderly COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: prognosis; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; biomarker; calcium; older adults.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • COVID-19*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia* / complications
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Biomarkers