Older adults are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 in terms of both disease severity and risk of death. To compare clinical differences between older COVID-19 hospitalized survivors and non-survivors, we investigated variables influencing mortality in all older adults with COVID-19 hospitalized in Poznań, Poland, through the end of June 2020 (n = 322). In-hospital, post-discharge, and overall 180-day mortality were analyzed. Functional capacity prior to COVID-19 diagnosis was also documented. The mean age of subjects was 77.5 ± 10.0 years; among them, 191 were females. Ninety-five (29.5%) died during their hospitalization and an additional 30 (9.3%) during the post-discharge period (up to 180 days from the hospital admission). In our study, male sex, severe cognitive impairment, underlying heart disease, anemia, and elevated plasma levels of IL-6 were independently associated with greater mortality during hospitalization. During the overall 180-day observation period (from the hospital admission), similar characteristics, excluding male sex and additionally functional impairment, were associated with increased mortality. During the post-discharge period, severe functional impairment remained the only determinant. Therefore, functional capacity prior to diagnosis should be considered when formulating comprehensive prognoses as well as care plans for older patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.

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Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, v. 18, issue 20, 10671.

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR).