COVID-19 in older adults: What are the differences with younger patients?

Link to article at PubMed

Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2021 Jan;21(1):60-65. doi: 10.1111/ggi.14102. Epub 2020 Dec 2.


AIM: The present study aimed both to gain knowledge on the distinctive clinical characteristics of older adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), in comparison with those of younger patients, and to identify risk factors for mortality.

METHODS: A retrospective observational study was carried out of patients consecutively admitted to Doctor Peset University Hospital, Valencia (Spain) for COVID-19 from 11 March to 28 April 2020. Every case was diagnosed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or by serology test to detect antibodies. Demographic details, clinical characteristics, laboratory findings on admission and complications of each case were collected from electronic medical records.

RESULTS: The dataset comprised 340 patients. Of them, 152 (44.6%) were aged >70 years. Comorbidities were more common in the older groups. Confusion was more common in older adults, whereas typical symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough and myalgia, were less common. Oxygen saturation ≤93% on room air, neutrophilia, D-dimer >0.5 μg/mL, creatinine >1.5 mg/dL, lactate dehydrogenase ≥250 U/L and elevation of creatine kinase were higher in the older adult groups. Complications during hospitalization, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (53.3% vs 33.2%, P < 0.001), acute kidney injury (11.8% vs 5.3%; P = 0.030) and mortality (28.9% vs 6.5%; P < 0.001) were more common in patients aged >70 years. Oxygen saturation ≤93% on room air on admission was a predictor of mortality (odds ratio 11.65, 95% confidence interval 3.26-41.66, P < 0.001) in patients aged >70 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Older adults with COVID-19 have more atypical presentation, more complications and higher mortality. Oxygen saturation ≤93% on room air on admission is a predictive factor of death. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2021; 21: 60-65.

PMID:33264816 | PMC:PMC7753273 | DOI:10.1111/ggi.14102

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