SARS-COV-2 comorbidity network and outcome in hospitalized patients in Crema, Italy

Tommaso Gili, Giampaolo Benelli, Elisabetta Buscarini, Ciro Canetta, Giuseppe La Piana, Guido Merli, Alessandro Scartabellati, Giovanni Viganò, Roberto Sfogliarini, Giovanni Melilli, Roberto Assandri, Daniele Cazzato, Davide Sebastiano Rossi, Susanna Usai, Guido Caldarelli, Irene Tramacere, Germano Pellegata, Giuseppe Lauria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report onset, course, correlations with comorbidities, and diagnostic accuracy of nasopharyngeal swab in 539 individuals suspected to carry SARS-COV-2 admitted to the hospital of Crema, Italy. All individuals underwent clinical and laboratory exams, SARS-COV-2 reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction on nasopharyngeal swab, and chest X-ray and/or computed tomography (CT). Data on onset, course, comorbidities, number of drugs including angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin-II-receptor antagonists (sartans), follow-up swab, pharmacological treatments, non-invasive respiratory support, ICU admission, and deaths were recorded. Among 411 SARS-COV-2 patients (67.7% males) median age was 70.8 years (range 5-99). Chest CT was performed in 317 (77.2%) and showed interstitial pneumonia in 304 (96%). Fatality rate was 17.5% (74% males), with 6.6% in 60-69 years old, 21.1% in 70-79 years old, 38.8% in 80-89 years old, and 83.3% above 90 years. No death occurred below 60 years. Non-invasive respiratory support rate was 27.2% and ICU admission 6.8%. Charlson comorbidity index and high Creactive protein at admission were significantly associated with death. Use of ACE inhibitors or sartans was not associated with outcomes. Among 128 swab negative patients at admission (63.3% males) median age was 67.7 years (range 1-98). Chest CT was performed in 87 (68%) and showed interstitial pneumonia in 76 (87.3%). Follow-up swab turned positive in 13 of 32 patients. Using chest CT at admission as gold standard on the entire study population of 539 patients, nasopharyngeal swab had 80% accuracy. Comorbidity network analysis revealed a more homogenous distribution 60-40 aged SARS-COV-2 patients across diseases and a crucial different interplay of diseases in the networks of deceased and survived patients. SARS-CoV-2 caused high mortality among patients older than 60 years and correlated with pre-existing multiorgan impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0248498
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3 March
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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