This study was designed to investigate clinical characteristics associated with mortality and predictors of survival in older adults hospitalized with COVID-19 with a focus on neurological comorbidities and presenting neurological manifestations.
We compared clinical characteristics in an age- and gender-matched sample of 75 deceased and 75 recovered patients (M = 78) hospitalized with COVID-19 and developed a logistic regression to predict likelihood of survival.
Deceased patients were more like to have dementia, altered mental status (AMS), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, mechanical ventilation, and balance difficulties; higher heart rate, respiratory rate, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and absolute neutrophils; lower oxygen saturation and absolute lymphocytes; and shorter length of hospitalization. Logistic regression based on three mortality predictors (ARDS, AMS, and length of hospitalization) correctly predicted 87% of the outcome (89% sensitivity at 85% specificity).
Dementia and AMS were strong predictors of death in older adults hospitalized with COVID-19. Our findings add to the rapidly growing neurology of COVID-19 literature and underscore the importance of early recognition and the incorporation of a mental status examination into the medical assessment of COVID-19.