What are the most important risk factors for mortality in older adults with COVID-19?

Bottom Line:

Researchers found that older age and a decreased lymphocyte count (a measure of a specific type of white blood cell) were both associated with patient death relating to COVID-19.


Sun, H. et al. Risk Factors for Mortality in 244 Older Adults With COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: A Retrospective Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (2020). https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.16533

Date Published:

8 May 2020


This study aimed at better understanding risk factors in older patients which may lead to a worse prognosis. They noted that the current literature has indicated that older age has been linked to a worse prognosis from COVID-19, and sought to further investigate this, as well as other potential risk factors. It was found that the majority of these patients exhibited fever and dry cough, with many patients experiencing digestive symptoms like diarrhea. Overall, the most significant risk factors associated with death from the virus included a reduced lymphocyte count (a measure of a specific type of white blood cell, which is important in the immune system), and increased age. Additionally, it was also found that an increased white blood cell count may also be linked to a worse prognosis.

Summary by: Max Solish