Geriatrics and COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021;1318:209-222. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-63761-3_13.

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019, a novel coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has begun to infect people. The virus first occurred in Wuhan, China, but the whole world is now struggling with the pandemic. Over 13 million confirmed cases and 571,000 deaths have been reported so far, and this number is growing. Older people, who constitute a notable proportion of the world population, are at an increased risk of infection because of altered immunity and chronic comorbidities. Thus, appropriate health care is necessary to control fatalities and spread of the disease in this specific population. The chapter provides an overview of diagnostic methods, laboratory and imaging findings, clinical features, and management of COVID-19 in aged people. Possible mechanisms behind the behavior of SARS-CoV-2 in the elderly include immunosenescence and related impaired antiviral immunity, mature immunity and related hyper-inflammatory responses, comorbidities and their effects on the functioning of critical organs/systems, and the altered expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) that acts as an entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2. This evidence defines the herding behavior of COVID-19 in relation to ACE2 under the influence of immune dysregulation. Then, identifying the immunogenetic factors that affect the disease susceptibility and severity and as well as key inflammatory pathways that have the potential to serve as therapeutic targets needs to remain an active area of research.

PMID:33973181 | DOI:10.1007/978-3-030-63761-3_13

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