Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of COVID-19 Inpatients and Potential Risk Factors for Mortality in Zahedan, Iran: A Multicenter Study

Abstract
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an emerging global threat to public health. Objectives: This study examined the epidemiological and clinical characteristics and death-related factors of COVID-19 in inpatients in Zahedan, Iran. Methods: This multicenter study included all COVID-19 patients admitted to Zahedan hospitals within February to April 2020. Demographic, epidemiological, and clinical characteristics were extracted from medical records. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the risk factors associated with inpatient mortality. Results: Of 425 patients in this study, 237 and 188 were male and female, respectively. Moreover, 31 (7.29%) patients died. The patients with a severe stage of pneumonia and those with a severe/critical condition of COVID-19 were 35.8% and 35.1%, respectively. The most prevalent symptoms were cough (70.8%), shortness of breath (62.1%), fever (34.1%), bruising (28.7%), and shivering (28.5%). The most prevalent underlying diseases were hypertension (23.3%), diabetes (16.7%), cardiovascular disease (13.2%), chronic pulmonary disease (9.6%), and asthma (5.4%). Adjusted odds ratio (OR) of in-hospital mortality increased for patients with older age (OR = 3.74, 95% CI: 1.39 - 10.32), at least one underlying disease (OR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.01 - 1.32), severe disease (OR = 30.9, 95% CI: 4.01 - 239.09), and critically severe disease (OR = 736.5, 95% CI: 74.75 - 7256.1) compared to mild/moderate disease. Conclusions: This study showed that older age, disease severity, and underlying diseases were mortality risk factors due to COVID‐19 infection. This finding indicates that priorities for hospital admission must be given to patients with a higher risk of mortality due to limited facilities, especially in less privileged areas.
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