Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The aim of this study is to evaluate the epidemiological and clinical characteristics and parameters that determined the clinical course and prognosis of the COVID-19 patients admitted to Ankara City Hospital during the first month of the pandemic in Turkey. Materials and methods: SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive patients who were hospitalized between March 10 and April 10, 2020 were included. Results: Among 222 patients, mean age was higher in severe acute respiratory illness (SARI)/critical disease group (P < 0.001). Median time from illness onset to admission and presence of comorbidity, especially coronary artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, were significantly higher in the SARI/critical disease group (P < 0.05). Cough and fever were the most common symptoms, while anosmia and loss of taste were observed in 8.6% and 7.7% patients, respectively. The mortality rate was 5.4%. A high neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio; low lymphocyte, monocyte, and platelet count; elevated liver enzymes; low GFR; and high levels of muscle enzymes, ferritin, and IL-6 on admission were found to be associated with SARI/critical disease (P < 0.05). Bilateral ground-glass opacity and patchy infiltration were more frequently seen in the SARI/critical disease group (P < 0.001). Patients older than 65 years had an 8-fold increased risk for development of SARI/critical disease. Conclusion: This cohort study regarding COVID-19 cases in Turkey reveals that older age, presence of comorbidity, bilateral infiltration on CT, high neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio, low monocyte and platelet count, elevated liver enzymes, low GFR, high levels of muscle enzymes, and high levels of ferritin and IL-6 on admission are predictors of SARI and severe disease.


COVID-19, Turkey, epidemiology, prognosis, IL-6, mortality

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