The impact of delirium on outcomes for older adults hospitalised with COVID-19.

Marengoni A, Zucchelli A, Grande G, Fratiglioni L, Rizzuto D

Age Ageing 49 (6) 923-926 [2020-10-23; online 2020-08-22]

Delirium is a frequent condition in hospitalized older patients and it usually has a negative prognostic value. A direct effect of SARS-COV-2 on the central nervous system (CNS) has been hypothesized. To evaluate the presence of delirium in older patients admitted for a suspected diagnosis of COVID-19 and its impact on in-hospital mortality. 91 patients, aged 70-years and older, admitted to an acute geriatric ward in Northern Italy from March 8th to April 17th, 2020. COVID-19 cases were confirmed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay for SARS-Cov-2 RNA from nasal and pharyngeal swabs. Delirium was diagnosed by two geriatricians according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (DMS V) criteria. The number of chronic diseases was calculated among a pre-defined list of 60. The pre-disease Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) was assessed at hospital admission. Of the total sample, 39 patients died, 49 were discharged and 3 were transferred to ICU. Twenty-five patients (27.5%) had delirium. Seventy-two percent of patients with delirium died during hospitalization compared to 31.8% of those without delirium. In a multivariate logistic regression model adjusted for potential confounders, patients with delirium were four times more likely to die during hospital stay compared to those without delirium (OR = 3.98;95%CI = 1.05-17.28; p = 0.047). Delirium is common in older patients with COVID-19 and strongly associated with in-hospital mortality. Regardless of causation, either due to a direct effect of SARS-COV-2 on the CNS or to a multifactorial cause, delirium should be interpreted as an alarming prognostic indicator in older people.

Category: Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 32821901

DOI 10.1093/ageing/afaa189

Crossref 10.1093/ageing/afaa189

pii: 5894896
pmc: PMC7499475

Publications 7.1.2