MONDAY, April 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Factors associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) progression include comorbidity, age, and time from illness onset to antiviral treatment, according to a study published online March 27 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
Jian Wu, from The First Affiliated Hospital at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and colleagues retrospectively examined the clinical, imaging, and laboratory characteristics of 280 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20, 2020, to assess the factors associated with severity and prognosis.
The researchers found that the median ages of patients in the mild and severe groups were 37.55 and 63.04 years, respectively. The proportion of patients older than 65 years was significantly higher in the severe versus the mild group (59.04 versus 10.15 percent). Of severe patients, 85.54 percent had diabetes or cardiovascular disease, which was significantly higher than in the mild group (51.81 versus 7.11 percent and 33.73 versus 3.05 percent, respectively). In the mild group, patients experienced earlier initiation of antiviral treatment than in the severe group (1.19 ± 0.45 versus 2.65 ± 1.06 days). The three major risk factors for COVID-19 progression were comorbidity, time from illness onset to antiviral, and age ≥65 years; two major risk factors for COVID-19 recovery were comorbidity and time from illness onset to antiviral.
"It is extremely important to make timely and efficient diagnosis and initiate treatment for severe patients," the authors write.