Characteristics and outcomes of a cohort of COVID-19 patients in the Province of Reggio Emilia, Italy

Reggio Emilia COVID-19 Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is a population-based prospective cohort study on archive data describing the age- and sex-specific prevalence of COVID-19 and its prognostic factors. All 2653 symptomatic patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 from February 27 to April 2, 2020 in the Reggio Emilia province, Italy, were included. COVID-19 cumulative incidence, hospitalization and death rates, and adjusted hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated according to sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Females had higher prevalence of infection than males below age 50 (2.61 vs. 1.84 %), but lower in older ages (16.49 vs. 20.86 % over age 80). Case fatality rate reached 20.7% in cases with more than 4 weeks follow up. After adjusting for age and comorbidities, men had a higher risk of hospitalization (HR 1.4 95% CI 1.2 to 1.6) and of death (HR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.1). Patients over age 80 compared to age < 50 had HR 7.1 (95% CI 5.4 to 9.3) and HR 27.8 (95% CI 12.5 to 61.7) for hospitalization and death, respectively. Immigrants had a higher risk of hospitalization (HR 1.3, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.81) than Italians and a similar risk of death. Risk of hospitalization and of death were higher in patients with heart failure, arrhythmia, dementia, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension, while COPD increased the risk of hospitalization (HR 1.9, 95% CI 1.4 to 2.5) but not of death (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.7 to 1.7). Previous use of ACE inhibitors had no effect on risk of death (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.34). Identified susceptible populations and fragile patients should be considered when setting priorities in public health planning and clinical decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0238281
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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