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Older individuals have an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and a higher risk for complications and death. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of older patients admitted with COVID-19 and describe their outcomes. This was a retrospective cohort study of patients older than 65 years admitted to the COVID-19 Department of the University Hospital of Heraklion. Data recorded and evaluated included age, gender, Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) severity score, Charlson comorbidity index (CCI), high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) use, admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), laboratory exams, treatment administered, and outcome. In total, 224 patients were evaluated in the present study. The median age was 75 years and 105 (46.9%) were female. In 50 patients (22.7%), HFNO was used and 23 (10.3%) were admitted to the ICU. Mortality was 13.4% (30 patients). Patients that died had higher age, were more likely to be male, had an IDSA severity score of 3, had prior HFNO use, had been admitted to the ICU, and were also more likely to have a higher white blood cell (WBC) count, CRP, ferritin, procalcitonin, d-dimers, and troponin. A multivariate logistic regression analysis identified age and the need for HFNO use to be independently positively associated with mortality. To conclude, COVID-19 carries significant mortality in hospitalized older patients, which increases with age, while the need for HFNO also increased the likelihood of worse outcomes. Clinicians caring for patients with COVID-19 should bear in mind these two factors. Future studies could elaborate on the effect of new variants on the dynamics of mortality in older patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Infect Dis Rep

Publication Date





686 - 693


COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, elderly, geriatric, older