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      The Double Burden of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Polypharmacy on Geriatric Population – Public Health Implications

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          COVID-19 pandemic is inducing acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure, and eventual death. Respiratory failure is the leading cause of mortality in the elderly population with pre-existing medical conditions. This group is particularly vulnerable to infections due to a declined immune system, comorbidities, geriatric syndrome, and potentially inappropriate polypharmacy. These conditions make the elderly population more susceptible to the harmful effects of medications and the deleterious consequences of infections, including MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Chronic diseases among elderlies, including respiratory diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart diseases, present a significant challenge for healthcare professionals. To comply with the clinical guidelines, the practitioner may prescribe a complex medication regimen that adds up to the burden of pre-existing treatment, potentially inducing adverse drug reactions and leading to harmful side-effects. Consequently, the geriatric population is at increased risk of falls, frailty, and dependence that enhances their susceptibility to morbidity and mortality due to SARS-CoV-2 respiratory syndrome, particularly interstitial pneumonia. The major challenge resides in the detection of infection that may present as atypical manifestations in this age group. Healthy aging can be possible with adequate preventive measures and appropriate medication regimen and follow-up. Adherence to the guidelines and recommendations of WHO, CDC, and other national/regional/international agencies can reduce the risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Better training programs are needed to enhance the skill of health care professionals and patient’s caregivers. This review explains the public health implications associated with polypharmacy on the geriatric population with pre-existing co-morbidities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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          Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study

          Summary Background Since December, 2019, Wuhan, China, has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 have been reported but risk factors for mortality and a detailed clinical course of illness, including viral shedding, have not been well described. Methods In this retrospective, multicentre cohort study, we included all adult inpatients (≥18 years old) with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from Jinyintan Hospital and Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital (Wuhan, China) who had been discharged or had died by Jan 31, 2020. Demographic, clinical, treatment, and laboratory data, including serial samples for viral RNA detection, were extracted from electronic medical records and compared between survivors and non-survivors. We used univariable and multivariable logistic regression methods to explore the risk factors associated with in-hospital death. Findings 191 patients (135 from Jinyintan Hospital and 56 from Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital) were included in this study, of whom 137 were discharged and 54 died in hospital. 91 (48%) patients had a comorbidity, with hypertension being the most common (58 [30%] patients), followed by diabetes (36 [19%] patients) and coronary heart disease (15 [8%] patients). Multivariable regression showed increasing odds of in-hospital death associated with older age (odds ratio 1·10, 95% CI 1·03–1·17, per year increase; p=0·0043), higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score (5·65, 2·61–12·23; p<0·0001), and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL (18·42, 2·64–128·55; p=0·0033) on admission. Median duration of viral shedding was 20·0 days (IQR 17·0–24·0) in survivors, but SARS-CoV-2 was detectable until death in non-survivors. The longest observed duration of viral shedding in survivors was 37 days. Interpretation The potential risk factors of older age, high SOFA score, and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL could help clinicians to identify patients with poor prognosis at an early stage. Prolonged viral shedding provides the rationale for a strategy of isolation of infected patients and optimal antiviral interventions in the future. Funding Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences; National Science Grant for Distinguished Young Scholars; National Key Research and Development Program of China; The Beijing Science and Technology Project; and Major Projects of National Science and Technology on New Drug Creation and Development.
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            Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China

            Abstract Background Since December 2019, when coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emerged in Wuhan city and rapidly spread throughout China, data have been needed on the clinical characteristics of the affected patients. Methods We extracted data regarding 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in mainland China through January 29, 2020. The primary composite end point was admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of mechanical ventilation, or death. Results The median age of the patients was 47 years; 41.9% of the patients were female. The primary composite end point occurred in 67 patients (6.1%), including 5.0% who were admitted to the ICU, 2.3% who underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1.4% who died. Only 1.9% of the patients had a history of direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3% had contact with residents of Wuhan, including 31.3% who had visited the city. The most common symptoms were fever (43.8% on admission and 88.7% during hospitalization) and cough (67.8%). Diarrhea was uncommon (3.8%). The median incubation period was 4 days (interquartile range, 2 to 7). On admission, ground-glass opacity was the most common radiologic finding on chest computed tomography (CT) (56.4%). No radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9%) with nonsevere disease and in 5 of 173 patients (2.9%) with severe disease. Lymphocytopenia was present in 83.2% of the patients on admission. Conclusions During the first 2 months of the current outbreak, Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings. (Funded by the National Health Commission of China and others.)
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              Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China

              In December 2019, novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)-infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, China. The number of cases has increased rapidly but information on the clinical characteristics of affected patients is limited.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                20 October 2020
                : 16
                : 1007-1022
                [1 ]School of Medicine, American University of Integrative Sciences , Bridgetown, Barbados
                [2 ]Faculty of Medical Science, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus , Wanstead, Barbados
                [3 ]School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex , Mount Hope, Trinidad & Tobago
                [4 ]Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences , Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
                [5 ]Department of Pharmacognosy, BVM College of Pharmacy , Gwalior, India
                [6 ]Department of Microbiology, Jahangirnagar University , Savar, Dhaka 1342, Bangladesh
                [7 ]Department of Hematology, Asgar Ali Hospital , Dhaka 1204, Bangladesh
                [8 ]School of Pharmacy, Lebanese University , Beirut, Lebanon
                [9 ]Department of Public Health, North South University , Bashundhara, Dhaka 1229, Bangladesh
                [10 ]The Unit of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Defence Health Universiti Pertahanan, Nasional Malaysia (National Defence University of Malaysia) , Kuala Lumpur, Kem Perdana Sungai Besi, Malaysia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Mainul Haque Unit of Pharmacology Faculty of Medicine and Defence Health Universiti Pertahanan, Nasional Malaysia (National Defence University of Malaysia), Kem Perdana Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur , 57000, MalaysiaTel +60109265543 Email runurono@gmail.com
                © 2020 Rahman et al.

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                Page count
                Figures: 0, References: 207, Pages: 16
                This paper was not funded.


                public health, elderly, covid-19, pandemic, viral infection, polypharmacy, co-morbidity


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