High mortality in COVID-19 patients with mild respiratory disease

for the Humanitas Covid-19 Task Force

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected 189 000 people in Italy, with more than 25 000 deaths. Several predictive factors of mortality have been identified; however, none has been validated in patients presenting with mild disease.

METHODS: Patients with a diagnosis of interstitial pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2, presenting with mild symptoms, and requiring hospitalization in a non-intensive care unit with known discharge status were prospectively collected and retrospectively analysed. Demographical, clinical and biochemical parameters were recorded, as need for non-invasive mechanical ventilation and admission in intensive care unit. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify independent predictors of death.

RESULTS: Between 28 February and 10 April 2020, 229 consecutive patients were included in the study cohort; the majority were males with a mean age of 60 years. 54% of patients had at least one comorbidity, with hypertension being the most commonly represented, followed by diabetes mellitus. 196 patients were discharged after a mean of 9 days, while 14.4% died during hospitalization because of respiratory failure. Age higher than 75 years, low platelet count (<150 × 103 /mm3 ) and higher ferritin levels (>750 ng/mL) were independent predictors of death. Comorbidities were not independently associated with in-hospital mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: In-hospital mortality of patients with COVID-19 presenting with mild symptoms is high and is associated with older age, platelet count and ferritin levels. Identifying early predictors of outcome can be useful in the clinical practice to better stratify and manage patients with COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e13314
JournalEur. J. Clin. Invest.
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • COVID-19
  • Cause of Death
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis
  • Disease Progression
  • Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Ferritins/blood
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Italy/epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial/diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pandemics
  • Platelet Count
  • Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'High mortality in COVID-19 patients with mild respiratory disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this