PLoS One. 2021 Mar 24;16(3):e0248829. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0248829. eCollection 2021.
BACKGROUND: Individual differences in susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptomatology and clinical manifestation of COVID-19 have thus far been observed but little is known about the prognostic factors of young patients.
METHODS: A retrospective observational study was conducted on 171 patients aged ≤ 65 years hospitalized in Alessandria's Hospital from 1st March to 30th April 2020 with laboratory confirmed COVID-19. Epidemiological data, symptoms at onset, clinical manifestations, Charlson Comorbidity Index, laboratory parameters, radiological findings and complications were considered. Patients were divided into two groups on the basis of COVID-19 severity. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to establish factors associated with the development of a moderate or severe disease.
FINDINGS: A total of 171 patients (89 with mild/moderate disease, 82 with severe/critical disease), of which 61% males and a mean age (± SD) of 53.6 (± 9.7) were included. The multivariable logistic model identified age (50-65 vs 18-49; OR = 3.23 CI95% 1.42-7.37), platelet count (per 100 units of increase OR = 0.61 CI95% 0.42-0.89), c-reactive protein (CPR) (per unit of increase OR = 1.12 CI95% 1.06-1.20) as risk factors for severe or critical disease. The multivariable logistic model showed a good discriminating capacity with a C-index value of 0.76.
INTERPRETATION: Patients aged ≥ 50 years with low platelet count and high CRP are more likely to develop severe or critical illness. These findings might contribute to improved clinical management.