Covid-19 in the elderly patients

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Frailty is increasingly recognized as one of the most important predictors of outcomes in various syndromes and diseases. There is a lack of data on frailty and Covid-19, which is an important topic related to Healthy Ageing, one of the fundamental themes of the University Medical Center in Groningen (UMCG), the Netherlands. Given the aging population in the Northern Netherlands, the population admitted to the hospital is expected to be of a relatively older age.

Relationship frailty and mortality Prof. Barbara van Munster, geriatrician at the UMCG, is part of COVID-OLD (COVID-19 Elderly National Database), a collaboration between medical specialists from various hospitals in the Netherlands, which investigates the outcomes of the elderly admitted to hospital with the coronavirus. She is particularly interested in understanding the relationship between delirium, frailty and mortality, and the prevalence of delirium in hospitalized elderly Covid-19 patients. In january 2021 the consortium published a multicentre retrospective cohort study involving 15 hospitals in the Netherlands, including all patients 70 years and older, hospitalised with Covid-19 between February and May 2020. The in-hospital mortality of these patients was 38%, and frailty was independently associated with higher in-hospital mortality, even though Covid-19 patients with frailty presented earlier to the hospital with less severe symptoms.

The consortium received a grant from ZonMw to investigate outpatient care during Covid period (COVID19 Outcomes in Older People - the COOP study).Through this research, Prof. van Munster and her collaborators want to improve the care for the elderly with Covid-19.