Study from LEGEND investigator Simon P Mooijaart showed that frailty is associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality in older people with COVID-19.


During the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, older patients had an increased risk of hospitalisation and death. Reports on the association of frailty with poor outcome have been conflicting.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the independent association between frailty and in-hospital mortality in older hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the Netherlands.


This was a multicentre retrospective cohort study in 15 hospitals in the Netherlands, including all patients aged ≥70 years, who were hospitalised with clinically confirmed COVID-19 between February and May 2020. Data were collected on demographics, co-morbidity, disease severity and Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). Primary outcome was in-hospital mortality.


A total of 1,376 patients were included (median age 78 years (interquartile range 74–84), 60% male). In total, 499 (38%) patients died during hospital admission. Parameters indicating presence of frailty (CFS 6–9) were associated with more co-morbidities, shorter symptom duration upon presentation (median 4 versus 7 days), lower oxygen demand and lower levels of C-reactive protein. In multivariable analyses, the CFS was independently associated with in-hospital mortality: compared with patients with CFS 1–3, patients with CFS 4–5 had a two times higher risk (odds ratio (OR) 2.0 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3–3.0)) and patients with CFS 6–9 had a three times higher risk of in-hospital mortality (OR 2.8 (95% CI 1.8–4.3)).


The in-hospital mortality of older hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the Netherlands was 38%. Frailty was independently associated with higher in-hospital mortality, even though COVID-19 patients with frailty presented earlier to the hospital with less severe symptoms.

Overview publication

TitleFrailty is associated with in-hospital mortality in older hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the Netherlands: the COVID-OLD study
DateJanuary 30th, 2021
Issue nameAge and Ageing
Issue numberVolume 50, Issue 3, May 2021, Pages 631–640
AuthorsBlomaard LC, van der Linden CMJ, van der Bol JM, Jansen SWM, Polinder-Bos HA, Willems HC, Festen J, Barten DG, Borgers AJ, Bos JC, van den Bos F, de Brouwer EJM, van Deudekom FJA, van Dijk SC, Emmelot-Vonk MH, Geels RES, van de Glind EMM, de Groot B, Hempenius L, Kamper AM, Kampschreur LM, de Koning MMM, Labots G, Looman R, Lucke JA, Maas HAAM, Mattace-Raso FUS, el Moussaoui R, van Munster BC, van Nieuwkoop C, Oosterwijk L(LE, Regtuijt M(M, Robben SHM, Ruiter R, Salarbaks AM, Schouten HJ, Smit OM, Smits RAL, Spies PE, Vreeswijk R, de Vries OJ, Wijngaarden MA, Wyers CE & Mooijaart SP
Read Read publication