Objectives. Although the majority of COVID-19-related in-hospital deaths were reported in patients over 75 years of age, this population has been scarcely described so far. This study was aimed at describing the clinical presentation and in-hospital mortality rate of these geriatric patients.
Methods. This retrospective cohort studied the first 50 patients that were affected with COVID-19 and admitted to geriatric wards at Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc.
Results. Before admission, the patients (median age: 88 years) were vulnerable (16%), mildly/moderately frail (32%), and severely/very severely frail (52%) according to the clinical frailty scale, whilst presenting with geriatric syndromes (cognitive impairment in 54%, recurrent falls in 44%, and malnutrition in 40%). In 36% of patients, the initial COVID-19 presentation was atypical, consisting of delirium-related or digestive symptoms. The in-hospital mortality rate was high (52%), while being not associated with the degree of frailty; the patients’ mortality rate was associated upon diagnosis with older age, lower systolic blood pressure, higher serum lactate dehydrogenase levels, and marked lung infiltrates.
Conclusions. Concerning the first geriatric COVID-19-affected patients, the initial symptom was often misleading, and the in-hospital mortality rate was high (52%),whereas the prognosis factors still need to be better defined, particularly as for the impact of clinical frailty.