Intern Emerg Med. 2020 Oct 10. doi: 10.1007/s11739-020-02517-7. Online ahead of print.
A novel human coronavirus, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused a global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this study, we aimed to explore the clinical characteristics and outcomes in older patients with COVID-19. Ninety-one patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were included in the study, 27 of which (29.67%) were elderly. The median age of these 27 patients was 74.9 years (interquartile range 68-82; range 65-94 years), and 15 (55.56%) were female. Elderly with COVID-19 in Beijing (China) were more likely to have underlying comorbidities and more frequently tended to have critical illness and suffer from more complications. The main treatments of the elderly consisted of symptomatic and respiratory support. The most frequent complications in the elderly were pleural effusion [10, (37.04%)], secondary infection [7, (25.93%)], and kidney damage [7, (25.93%)]. Six (22.22%) of the 27 elderly patients received invasive ventilation (three of them switched to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). As of March 7, 20 (74.07%) of the 27 elderly patients were discharged, two (7.41%) were still hospitalized, and five died; the mortality in the elderly was 18.52%. Age was associated with the mortality in patients with COVID-19 (OR 0.82; 95% CI 0.70-0.97; P = 0.019). Therefore, more attention should be paid to the treatment of comorbidities and complications in elderly patients.