The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections


The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.


Background: The risk of death due to COVID-19 among hospitalized patients is known to be higher in older adults and those with underlying health conditions. Understanding the proportion of patients who are at increased risk of death due to COVID-19 and how this varies between age groups will inform the healthcare community as to how to evaluate the risk of COVID-19 and better design healthcare and economic policies.

Methods: We conducted a literature search for studies published between December 2019 and May 16, 2020 in PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane (CENTRAL). Descriptive statistics were performed.

Results: We reviewed 14 studies, of which 13 were retrospective and one of which was prospective. Eleven studies were conducted in Wuhan, China. A grand total of 11,938 COVID-19 confirmed patients were reviewed. Among these patients, 7,637 (64%) were males. Our review reported hypertension (41%), diabetes (21%), cardiac diseases (14%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (8%), chronic kidney disease (4%), and cerebrovascular disease (10%) as the most common underlying diseases among patients who died during hospitalization due to COVID-19. The total number of patients who died in the hospital was 1,744 (15%). Among patients who died in the hospital, 1% of patients were 30–39 years old, 16% patients were 40–59 years old, and 83% patients were more than 60 years old.

Conclusions: Older patients with underlying diseases appear to be at higher risk of mortality due to COVID-19. Comorbidities are significant predictors of mortality in COVID-19 patients. There is an urgent need to know the epidemiology of the novel virus and characterize its potential impact.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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