Coronavirus Related Mortality in the Geriatrics Ambulatory Practice

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Background: Older adults often have atypical presentations of common diseases and COVID-19 is no exception. Presentations range from asymptomatic to overwhelming symptoms that result in hospitalization, intubation, or death. The number of COVID-19 related deaths among older adults in the outpatient practice during the peak of the pandemic is unclear. Methods: The objective is to describe the COVID-19 status and clinical characteristics of patients in a Geriatrics Ambulatory Practice who died during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Design: Retrospective chart review Participants: 54 adults age 65 years and older. Methods: COVID-19 status defined by positive test result and presumed COVID-19 status based upon clinical presentation. Results: Out of 1200 active patients in the Geriatrics Ambulatory Practice, 54 (4.5%) died between January 1st, 2020 and June 30th, 2020. The study sample was 63% female, 33% Hispanic/Latino, 27% Black/African American, and 22% white. The mean (SD) age was 86(8.6) years, range (72-107 years). The most prevalent medical comorbidities in decreasing order of frequency were hypertension (88.9%), diabetes (51.9%), and cognitive impairment (51.9%). Nineteen (35%) were COVID-19 positive and 8 had presumed COVID-19. There were no statistically significant differences in age, gender, race/ethnicity, and medical comorbidities between the COVID-19 or presumed COVID-19 group compared to those with No COVID-19. Conclusion: Approximately 35% of Geriatric patients who died during the first 6 months of 2020 had confirmed COVID-19 and an additional 15% had presumed COVID-19. The actual number of COVID-19 related deaths among older adults in the ambulatory practice during the peak of the pandemic is difficult to estimate and likely underestimated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
StatePublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • ambulatory practice
  • geriatrics
  • health outcomes
  • mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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