Factors associated with mortality in patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care: a systematic review and meta-analysis



Taylor EH, Marson EJ, Elhadi M, Macleod KDM, Yu YC, Davids R, Boden R, Overmeyer RC, Ramakrishnan R, Thomson DA, Coetzee J, Biccard BM.


Anaesthesia. 2021 Sep;76(9):1224-1232. doi: 10.1111/anae.15532. Epub 2021 Jun 29.


Identification of high-risk patients admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 may inform management strategies. The objective of this meta-analysis was to determine factors associated with mortality among adults with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care by searching databases for studies published between 1 January 2020 and 6 December 2020. Observational studies of COVID-19 adults admitted to critical care were included. Studies of mixed cohorts and intensive care cohorts restricted to a specific patient sub-group were excluded. Dichotomous variables were reported with pooled OR and 95%CI, and continuous variables with pooled standardised mean difference (SMD) and 95%CI. Fifty-eight studies (44,305 patients) were included in the review. Increasing age (SMD 0.65, 95%CI 0.53-0.77); smoking (OR 1.40, 95%CI 1.03-1.90); hypertension (OR 1.54, 95%CI 1.29-1.85); diabetes (OR 1.41, 95%CI 1.22-1.63); cardiovascular disease (OR 1.91, 95%CI 1.52-2.38); respiratory disease (OR 1.75, 95%CI 1.33-2.31); renal disease (OR 2.39, 95%CI 1.68-3.40); and malignancy (OR 1.81, 95%CI 1.30-2.52) were associated with mortality. A higher sequential organ failure assessment score (SMD 0.86, 95%CI 0.63-1.10) and acute physiology and chronic health evaluation-2 score (SMD 0.89, 95%CI 0.65-1.13); a lower PaO(2) :F(I) O(2) (SMD -0.44, 95%CI -0.62 to -0.26) and the need for mechanical ventilation at admission (OR 2.53, 95%CI 1.90-3.37) were associated with mortality. Higher white cell counts (SMD 0.37, 95%CI 0.22-0.51); neutrophils (SMD 0.42, 95%CI 0.19-0.64); D-dimers (SMD 0.56, 95%CI 0.43-0.69); ferritin (SMD 0.32, 95%CI 0.19-0.45); lower platelet (SMD -0.22, 95%CI -0.35 to -0.10); and lymphocyte counts (SMD -0.37, 95%CI -0.54 to -0.19) were all associated with mortality. In conclusion, increasing age, pre-existing comorbidities, severity of illness based on validated scoring systems, and the host response to the disease were associated with mortality; while male sex and increasing BMI were not. These factors have prognostic relevance for patients admitted to intensive care with COVID-19. CI – © 2021 Association of Anaesthetists.

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Link/DOI: 10.1111/anae.15532