Older people are the most frequently hospital admitted patients with COVID-19. We aimed to describe the clinical presentation of COVID-19 among frail and nonfrail older hospitalised patients and to evaluate the potential association between frailty and clinical course, decision of treatment level with outcomes change in functional capacity and survival.
We performed a multi-center, retrospective cross-sectional cohort study examining data on clinical presentation and frailty-related domains for hospitalised people aged 75 + years with a positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test. Frailty was assessed at admission using record-based MPI (rMPI) and Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). Decision on treatment level about invasive ventilation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), change in CFS-score from admission to discharge, changed need of home care, and in-hospital, 30-day and 90-day mortality were registered.
100 patients (median age 82 years (IQR 78-86), 56% female) with COVID-19 were included. 54 patients were assessed moderately or severely frail (rMPI-score = 2 or 3) and compared to non-frail (rMPI-score = 1). At admission, frail patients presented more frequently with confusion. At discharge, functional decline measured by change in CFS and increased home care was more prevalent among frail than the non-frail. Decisions about no invasive ventilation or CPR were more prevalent among frail older patients with COVID-19 than non-frail. Ninety-day mortality was 70% among frail patients versus 15% in non-frail.
Frailty seems to be associated with confusion, more frequent decisions about treatment level, larger functional decline at discharge and a higher mortality rate among older patients with COVID-19.