Temporal trends in hospitalizations and 30-day mortality in older patients during the COVID pandemic from March 2020 to July 2021.

Garcia-Ptacek S, Xu H, Annetorp M, Jerlardtz VB, Cederholm T, Engström M, Kivipelto M, Lundberg LG, Metzner C, Olsson M, Nyvang JS, Sühl Öberg C, Åkesson E, Religa D, Eriksdotter M

PLoS One 18 (9) e0291237 [2023-09-14; online 2023-09-14]

A reduction in mortality risk of COVID-19 throughout the first wave of the pandemic has been reported, but less is known about later waves. This study aimed to describe changes in hospitalizations and mortality of patients receiving inpatient geriatric care for COVID-19 or other causes during the pandemic. Patients 70 years and older hospitalized in geriatric hospitals in Stockholm for COVID-19 or other causes between March 2020-July 2021 were included. Data on the incidence of COVID-positive cases and 30-day mortality of the total ≥ 70-year-old population, in relation to weekly hospitalizations and mortality after hospital admissions were analyzed. Findings The total number of hospitalizations was 5,320 for COVID-19 and 32,243 for non-COVID-cases. In COVID-patients, the 30-day mortality rate was highest at the beginning of the first wave (29% in March-April 2020), reached 17% at the second wave peak (November-December) followed by 11-13% in the third wave (March-July 2021). The mortality in non-COVID geriatric patients showed a similar trend, but of lower magnitude (5-10%). During the incidence peaks, COVID-19 hospitalizations displaced non-COVID geriatric patients. Hospital admissions and 30-day mortality after hospitalizations for COVID-19 increased in periods of high community transmission, albeit with decreasing mortality rates from wave 1 to 3, with a probable vaccination effect in wave 3. Thus, the healthcare system could not compensate for the high community spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic peaks, which also led to displacing care for non-COVID geriatric patients.

Category: Public Health

Funder: VR

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37708110

DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0291237

Crossref 10.1371/journal.pone.0291237

pmc: PMC10501674
pii: PONE-D-22-12713

Publications 9.5.0