Geriatric Syndromes in Older Adults Hospitalized with COVID-19 in Montreal, Canada
Keywords:COVID-19, older adults, geriatric syndromes, outcomes, clinical research
Older adults are more vulnerable to severe infection and mortality due to COVID-19. They have atypical presentations of the disease without respiratory symptoms, making early diagnosis clinically challenging. We aimed to compare the baseline characteristics, presentation, and disease course of older (≥70 yrs & ≥90 yrs) and younger (<70 yrs) patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Retrospective review of 429 consecutive patients hospitalized at two tertiary care hospitals in Montreal, Canada, with PCR-confirmed COVID-19. Baseline characteristics, presentation, in-hospital complications, and outcomes were recorded. Desegregation by age was performed to compare older versus younger individuals. Additional subgroup analyses were performed amongst patients ≥70 stratifying by sex, living situation, and those presenting with geriatric syndromes compared to those without.
Patients ≥70 (n=260) presented less frequently with respiratory symptoms compared to patients <70 (n=169) (52% vs. 32%). 11% of patients ≥70 and 24% of patients ≥90 presented with a geriatric syndrome as their sole symptom compared to 3% of those <70. Older adults were more likely to develop disease complications (including delirium, acute kidney injury, and hypernatremia) and had higher in-hospital mortality (32% vs. 13%). Subgroup analyses revealed heightened vulnerability to complications in older men, those from long-term care, and those with at least one geriatric syndrome upon presentation.
Older adults presenting to hospital with COVID-19 often have no respiratory symptoms and can present with only a geriatric syndrome. New geriatric syndromes in older individuals should trigger evaluation for COVID-19 and consideration for early initiation of multidisciplinary care to prevent complications.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Author(s)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to the Candian Geriatrics Journal retain copyright of their work, with exclusive publication rights granted to the Canadian Geriatrics Society upon article acceptance. Read the journal's full copyright and open access policy.