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Physiology International
Anna Péterfi
Ágota Mészáros
Zsófia Szarvas
Melinda Pénzes
Mónika Fekete
Ágnes Fehér
Andrea Lehoczki
Tamás Csípő
, and
Vince Fazekas-Pongor



The purpose of current review is to conduct a systematic overview of articles published between 2019 and 2021 on the relationship of comorbidities and mortality due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) among the elderly population.


We conducted a systematic search on PubMed for articles published between 2019 and 2021 to identify any cohort and case-control studies that investigated the relationship of comorbidities and COVID-19 mortality among the elderly, defined as 60 years of age and above. Databases were searched independently by two authors. Disagreements were resolved by the inclusion of a third investigator. Reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses were excluded from our systematic review.


A total of 15 studies were selected for our systematic review. Of the included studies, 3 were case-control, 3 were prospective cohort studies and 9 were retrospective cohort studies. As for size, 10 studies were conducted on populations of <1000 participants, 3 ranging from 1001 to 10,000, and 2 on populations of >10,000 individuals. The included studies found that the presence of certain conditions, such as cardiovascular, respiratory, renal diseases, malignancies, diseases of the nervous system and diabetes are associated to increased mortality in populations that consisted of elderly patients.


Results of our systematic review suggest that comorbidities contribute to increased COVID-19 mortality among the elderly. The detrimental effect of comorbidities and advanced age on the immune response could lead to a more frequent occurrence of symptomatic and severe infections with COVID-19.

Open access