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      Risk factors for Covid-19 severity and fatality: a structured literature review

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          Covid-19 is a global threat that pushes health care to its limits. Since there is neither a vaccine nor a drug for Covid-19, people with an increased risk for severe and fatal courses of disease particularly need protection. Furthermore, factors increasing these risks are of interest in the search of potential treatments. A systematic literature review on the risk factors of severe and fatal Covid-19 courses is presented.


          The review is carried out on PubMed and a publicly available preprint dataset. For analysis, risk factors are categorized and information regarding the study such as study size and location are extracted. The results are compared to risk factors listed by four public authorities from different countries.


          The 28 records included, eleven of which are preprints, indicate that conditions and comorbidities connected to a poor state of health such as high age, obesity, diabetes and hypertension are risk factors for severe and fatal disease courses. Furthermore, severe and fatal courses are associated with organ damages mainly affecting the heart, liver and kidneys. Coagulation dysfunctions could play a critical role in the organ damaging. Time to hospital admission, tuberculosis, inflammation disorders and coagulation dysfunctions are identified as risk factors found in the review but not mentioned by the public authorities.


          Factors associated with increased risk of severe or fatal disease courses were identified, which include conditions connected with a poor state of health as well as organ damages and coagulation dysfunctions. The results may facilitate upcoming Covid-19 research.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China

          Summary Background A recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of these patients. Methods All patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. We prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by WHO and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not. Findings By Jan 2, 2020, 41 admitted hospital patients had been identified as having laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. Most of the infected patients were men (30 [73%] of 41); less than half had underlying diseases (13 [32%]), including diabetes (eight [20%]), hypertension (six [15%]), and cardiovascular disease (six [15%]). Median age was 49·0 years (IQR 41·0–58·0). 27 (66%) of 41 patients had been exposed to Huanan seafood market. One family cluster was found. Common symptoms at onset of illness were fever (40 [98%] of 41 patients), cough (31 [76%]), and myalgia or fatigue (18 [44%]); less common symptoms were sputum production (11 [28%] of 39), headache (three [8%] of 38), haemoptysis (two [5%] of 39), and diarrhoea (one [3%] of 38). Dyspnoea developed in 22 (55%) of 40 patients (median time from illness onset to dyspnoea 8·0 days [IQR 5·0–13·0]). 26 (63%) of 41 patients had lymphopenia. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT. Complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome (12 [29%]), RNAaemia (six [15%]), acute cardiac injury (five [12%]) and secondary infection (four [10%]). 13 (32%) patients were admitted to an ICU and six (15%) died. Compared with non-ICU patients, ICU patients had higher plasma levels of IL2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A, and TNFα. Interpretation The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality. Major gaps in our knowledge of the origin, epidemiology, duration of human transmission, and clinical spectrum of disease need fulfilment by future studies. Funding Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
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            Nicotine exerts an anti-inflammatory effect in a murine model of acute lung injury.

            Activation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway through direct activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on immune cells can inhibit pro-inflammatory chemokine and cytokine release and thereby protect in a variety of inflammatory diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate whether nicotine treatment protected against acute lung inflammation. Mice challenged with intratracheal lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 50 μg) were treated with nicotine (0.2 or 0.4 mg/kg, sc). After 24 h, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was obtained to measure leukocyte infiltration, lung edema, and pro-inflammatory chemokine (MIP-1α, MIP-2, and eotaxin) and cytokine (IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α) levels. Nicotine treatment reduced the LPS-mediated infiltration of leukocytes and edema as evidenced by decreased BALF inflammatory cells, myeloperoxidase, and protein. Nicotine also downregulated lung production of pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines. These data support the proposal that activation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway may represent a useful addition to the therapy of acute respiratory distress syndrome.
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              Clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a single-centered, retrospective, observational study

               XB Yang,  Y. Yu,  JQ Xu (2020)

                Author and article information

                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                28 August 2020
                28 August 2020
                : 1-14
                GRID grid.10423.34, ISNI 0000 0000 9529 9877, Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics of TU Braunschweig and Hannover Medical School, ; Hannover, Germany
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.


                Infectious disease & Microbiology

                population at risk, risk factors, review, sars-cov-2, covid-19


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