COVID-19 more severe than bacterial or viral pneumonia for older ICU patients

New research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society indicates that for older patients in intensive care units (ICUs), COVID-19 is more severe than bacterial or viral pneumonia.

Among 11,525 patients aged 70 years and older who were admitted to Dutch ICUs, ICU-mortality and hospital-mortality rates of patients admitted with COVID-19 were 39.7% and 47.6%, respectively. These rates were higher than the mortality of patients admitted because of pneumonia from causes other than COVID. (ICU- and hospital-mortality rates of patients admitted with bacterial pneumonia were 19.1% and 28.8%, respectively, and with viral pneumonia were 22.7% and 31.8%, respectively). Differences persisted after adjusting for several clinical characteristics and intensive care unit occupancy rate.

In ICU-patients aged 70 years and older, COVID-19 is more severe-; with approximately double mortality rates-; compared with bacterial or viral pneumonia. Nevertheless, more than half of these older patients admitted to Dutch ICUs with COVID-19 survived the hospital. Our findings provide important additional data to include in informed goals-of-care discussions."

Lenneke E. M. Haas, MD, PhD, Corresponding Author of Diakonessenhuis, Netherlands

Journal reference:

Haas, L.E.M., et al. (2023) Increased mortality in ICU patients ≥70 years old with COVID-19 compared to patients with other pneumonias. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


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