COVID-19 mortality and its predictors in the elderly: A systematic review
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHealth Science Reports. 2022, 5 (3), e657. 10.1002/hsr2.657
Background and Aims Older people have higher rates of comorbidities and may experience more severe inflammatory responses; therefore, are at higher risk of death. Herein, we aimed to systematically review the mortality in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and its predictors in this age group. Methods We searched PubMed, Web of Science, and Science Direct using relevant keywords. Retrieved records underwent a two-step screening process consisting of title/abstract and full-text screenings to identify the eligible studies. Results Summarizing findings of 35 studies demonstrated that older patients have higher mortality rates compared to the younger population. A review of articles revealed that increasing age, body mass index, a male gender, dementia, impairment or dependency in daily activities, presence of consolidations on chest X-ray, hypoxemic respiratory failure, and lower oxygen saturation at admission were risk factors for death. High d-dimer levels, 25-hydroxy vitamin D serum deficiencies, high C-reactive protein (≥5 mg/L) levels plus any other abnormalities of lymphocyte, higher blood urea nitrogen or lactate dehydrogenase, and higher platelet count were predictors of poor prognosis and mortality in the elderly. Studies have also shown that previous treatment with renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitors, pharmacological treatments of respiratory disorders, antibiotics, corticosteroids, vitamin K antagonist, antihistamines, azithromycin, Itolizumab (an anti-CD6 monoclonal antibody) in combination with other antivirals reduces COVID-19 worsening and mortality. Vaccination against seasonal influenza might also reduce COVID-19 mortality. Conclusion Overall, a critical consideration is necessary for the care and management of COVID-19 in the aged population considering the drastic contrasts in manifestation and prognosis compared to other age groups. Mortality from COVID-19 is independently associated with the patient's age. Elderly patients with COVID-19 are more vulnerable to poor outcomes. Thus, strict preventive measures, timely diagnosis, and aggressive therapeutic/nontherapeutic care are of great importance to reduce acute respiratory distress syndrome and severe complications in older people.