Science Library Abstract
Published: 2021

Male gender, low Barthel index, and lymphocytopenia are independent risk factors for COVID-19 mortality in institutionalized older patients in long-term care nursing homes. Treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin was associated with lower mortality in these patients.


COVID-19 mortality risk factors in older people in a long-term care center


Heras E, Garibaldi P, Boix M, Valero O, Castillo J, Curbelo Y, Gonzalez E, Mendoza O, Anglada M, Miralles JC, Llull P, Llovera R, Piqué JM. (2021). COVID-19 mortality risk factors in older people in a long-term care center. Eur Geriatr Med. 12(3):601-607. doi: 10.1007/s41999-020-00432-w. Epub 2020 Nov 27. PMID: 33245505; PMCID: PMC7693854.


Purpose: Despite high rates of COVID-19 infection and increased related mortality have been reported among older adults admitted in long-term care facilities, a limited amount of information is available about the natural course of this pandemic and prognostic factors in such population. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the epidemiologic, demographics, clinical, or therapeutic factors that may predict the prognosis in a cohort of COVID-19 infected institutionalized older in a nursing home.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of all COVID-19 confirmed institutionalized older in a nursing home from March 15 to June 5, 2020. Epidemiological, demographic, and frailty status before infection, and clinical, laboratory, treatment, and outcome data during infection were collected. We used bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression to identify risk factors for mortality.

Results: The analysis comprised all 100 COVID-19 confirmed cases during the study period. The median age was 85 years; 62% were female. The case fatality rate was 20%. In the bivariate analysis, male gender, fever, respiratory symptoms, severe cognitive decline, a low Barthel index, and lymphocytopenia were significantly associated with mortality. Patients treated with hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin were related to a higher chance of survival than those without pharmacological treatment. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified male gender, low Barthel index, no pharmacological treatment, and lymphocytopenia as independent risk factors associated with mortality.

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