The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) initially occurred in December 2019 and triggered a public health emergency. The increasing number of deaths due to this disease was of great concern. Therefore, our study aimed to explore risk factors associated with COVID-19 deaths.

After having searched the PubMed, EMBASE, and CNKI for studies published as of August 10, 2020, we selected articles and extracted data. The meta-analysis was performed using Stata 16.0 software.

Nineteen studies were used in our meta-analysis. The proportions of comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, malignancies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardio-cerebrovascular disease, and chronic liver disease were statistically significantly higher in mortal COVID-19 cases. Coagulation and inflammatory markers, such as platelet count, D-dimer, prothrombin time, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, and interleukin 6, predicted the deterioration of the disease. In addition, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and mechanical ventilation predicted the poor prognosis during its progression.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still evolving, placing a huge burden on healthcare facilities. Certain coagulation indicators, inflammatory indicators, and comorbidities contribute to the prognosis of patients. Our study results may help clinicians optimize the treatment and ultimately reduce the mortality rate.