Background: SARS-CoV-2 causes high mortality risk in older patients. This study aims to characterize the clinical features of older and younger SARS-CoV-2 infected patients.

Results: A total of 239 patients were divided into the younger group (<60 years; n=181) and the older group (≥60 years; n=58). In both groups, fever and cough were common symptoms. However, dyspnea was more frequent in older patients than younger patients (20.7% versus 9.9%, p=0.032). Compared with younger patients, older patients harbored more severe cases (37.9% versus 17.1%, p=0.001) and comorbidities (58.6% versus 21.0%, p<0.001) such as hypertension and diabetes. The baseline values of eosinophils and C-reactive protein were abnormal in older and younger groups. From baseline to day 14, significant decreases of three biomarkers (C-reactive protein, hemoglobin, albumin) and dramatic increases of three biomarkers (lymphocytes, platelets, blood urea nitrogen) were observed in older patients.

Conclusion: Older and younger patients exhibited differences in dyspnea, comorbidities, and proportions of severe cases. Moreover, the disease progression of SARS-CoV-2 in older patients is observed with the dynamics of laboratory biomarkers, supporting their potential use in disease monitoring.

Methods: We retrieved clinical symptoms, laboratory findings, comorbidities, and hospitalization information of SARS-CoV-2 cases in Changsha.