Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of older adults with COVID-19 in a southern Santa Catarina city




Aged; COVID-19; Delivery of health care.


Aims: To characterize the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of older adults infected with COVID-19 during the period from March 2020 to February 2022 in the city of Tubarao, Santa Catarina. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed with 3919 older adults who had an infection by COVID-19 registered in a database maintained by the Health Foundation of this city. Results: Among this population, the hospitalization rate was 14.8% and the case fatality rate corresponded to 7.7%. Women were more diagnosed with COVID-19 (53.9%), while men were more associated with poor clinical outcomes, accounting for 56.5% of deaths. The most frequent symptom was cough (30.8%), followed by myalgia (22.4%) and headache (20.8%). The most common comorbidity, arterial hypertension, was linked to a higher risk of death. Conclusions: Aging showed its ability to provoke several changes in the response to coronavirus, increasing hospitalization and case fatality rates. The negative effect of the observed comorbidities possibly influenced such results, raising an alert about the need for treatment of chronic diseases and their prevention.

Author Biographies

Augusto Ricken Siqueira, Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina

Estudante de Medicina na Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL), em Tubarão, SC, Brasil.

Chaiana Esmeraldino Mendes Marcon, Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina

Doutora em Ciências da Saúde pela Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL), em Tubarão, SC, Brasil. Professora do Curso da Graduação em Medicina da Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL), em Tubarão, SC, Brasil

Fabiana Schuelter Trevisol, Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina

Doutora em Ciências da Saúde pela Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), em Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil. Professora do Curso da Graduação em Medicina da Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL), em Tubarão, SC, Brasil


Adamoski, D., Baura, V. A., Rodrigues, A. C., Royer, C. A., Aoki, M. N., Tschá, M. K., Bonatto, A. C., Wassem, R., Nogueira, M. B., Raboni, S. M., Almeida, B., Trindade, E., Gradia, D. F., Souza, E. M., & Carvalho de Oliveira, J. (2022). SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron Variants Surge in Curitiba, Southern Brazil, and Its Impact on Overall COVID-19 Lethality. Viruses, 14(4), 809.

Biswas, M., Rahaman, S., Biswas, T. K., Haque, Z., & Ibrahim, B. (2020). Association of Sex, Age, and Comorbidities with Mortality in COVID-19 Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Intervirology, 1–12.

Brady, E., Nielsen, M. W., Andersen, J. P., & Oertelt-Prigione, S. (2021). Lack of consideration of sex and gender in covid-19 clinical studies. Nature Communications, 12(1).

Das, U. N. (2018). Arachidonic acid and other unsaturated fatty acids and some of their metabolites function as endogenous antimicrobial molecules: A Review. Journal of Advanced Research, 11, 57–66.

Elkarow, M. H., & Hamdy, A. (2020). A Suggested Role of Human Growth Hormone in Control of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 11, 569633.

Farshbafnadi, M., Kamali Zonouzi, S., Sabahi, M., Dolatshahi, M., & Aarabi, M. H. (2021). Aging & COVID-19 susceptibility, disease severity, and clinical outcomes: The role of entangled risk factors. Experimental Gerontology, 154, 111507.

Fuentes, E., Fuentes, M., Alarcón, M., & Palomo, I. (2017). Immune system dysfunction in the elderly. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 89(1), 285–299.

Fundação Municipal de Saúde de Tubarão (FMS). Boletim Informativo FMS - COVID-19 (2022). Acessado em 16 de Maio de 2022, from

Fung, K. W., Baik, S. H., Baye, F., Zheng, Z., Huser, V., & McDonald, C. J. (2022). Effect of common maintenance drugs on the risk and severity of COVID-19 in elderly patients. PloS one, 17(4), e0266922.

Guo, T., Shen, Q., Guo, W., He, W., Li, J., Zhang, Y., Wang, Y., Zhou, Z., Deng, D., Ouyang, X., Xiang, Z., Jiang, M., Liang, M., Huang, P., Peng, Z., Xiang, X., Liu, W., Luo, H., Chen, P., & Peng, H. (2020). Clinical Characteristics of Elderly Patients with COVID-19 in Hunan Province, China: A Multicenter, Retrospective Study. Gerontology, 66(5), 467–475.

He, J., Guo, Y., Mao, R., & Zhang, J. (2020). Proportion of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of Medical Virology, 93(2), 820–830.

Hochman, B., Nahas, F. X., Filho, R. S. de O., & Ferreira, L. M. (2005). Desenhos de pesquisa. Acta Cirúrgica Brasileira, 20, 02–9.

Jain, V., & Yuan, J. M. (2020). Predictive symptoms and comorbidities for severe COVID-19 and intensive care unit admission: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Public Health, 65(5), 533–546.

Jutzeler, C. R., Bourguignon, L., Weis, C. V., Tong, B., Wong, C., Rieck, B., Pargger, H., Tschudin-Sutter, S., Egli, A., Borgwardt, K., & Walter, M. (2020). Comorbidities, clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory findings, imaging features, treatment strategies, and outcomes in adult and pediatric patients with COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 37, 101825.

Marzoli, F., Bortolami, A., Pezzuto, A., Mazzetto, E., Piro, R., Terregino, C., Bonfante, F., & Belluco, S. (2021). A systematic review of human coronaviruses survival on environmental surfaces. Science of The Total Environment, 778, 146191.

Ministério da Saúde (BR). (2022). Coronavírus Brasil. Acessado em 16 de Maio de 2022 em

Niquini, R. P., Lana, R. M., Pacheco, A. G., Cruz, O. G., Coelho, F. C., Carvalho, L. M., Villela, D. A., Gomes, M. F., & Bastos, L. S. (2020). Srag por covid-19 no Brasil: Descrição e Comparação de Características demográficas E comorbidades COM SRAG por influenza E com A População Geral. Cadernos de Saúde Pública, 36(7).

Peron, J., & Nakaya, H. (2020). Susceptibility of the Elderly to SARS-CoV-2 Infection: ACE-2 Overexpression, Shedding, and Antibody-dependent Enhancement (ADE). Clinics, 75, e1912.

Rodrigues-Diez, R. R., Tejera-Muñoz, A., Marquez-Exposito, L., Rayego-Mateos, S., Santos Sanchez, L., Marchant, V., Tejedor Santamaria, L., Ramos, A. M., Ortiz, A., Egido, J., & Ruiz-Ortega, M. (2020). Statins: Could an old friend help in the fight against COVID-19?. British Journal of Pharmacology, 177(21), 4873–4886.

Roediger, M., Marucci, M., Gobbo, L. A., Dourado, D. A., Santos, J. L., Duarte, Y. A., & Lebrão, M. L. (2018). Diabetes mellitus referida: Incidência e determinantes, Em Coorte de idosos do Município de São Paulo, Brasil, Estudo Sabe – Saúde, Bem-Estar E Envelhecimento. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 23(11), 3913–3922.

Sallis, R., Young, D. R., Tartof, S. Y., Sallis, J. F., Sall, J., Li, Q., Smith, G. N., & Cohen, D. A. (2021). Physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes: a study in 48 440 adult patients. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 55(19), 1099–1105.

Scully, E. P., Haverfield, J., Ursin, R. L., Tannenbaum, C., & Klein, S. L. (2020). Considering how biological sex impacts immune responses and COVID-19 outcomes. Nature reviews. Immunology, 20(7), 442–447.

Takahashi, T., Ellingson, M. K., Wong, P., Israelow, B., Lucas, C., Klein, J., Silva, J., Mao, T., Oh, J. E., Tokuyama, M., Lu, P., Venkataraman, A., Park, A., Liu, F., Meir, A., Sun, J., Wang, E. Y., Casanovas-Massana, A., Wyllie, A. L., Vogels, C., … Iwasaki, A. (2020). Sex differences in immune responses that underlie COVID-19 disease outcomes. Nature, 588(7837), 315–320.

World Health Organization. (2020, March). Who director-general's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 march 2020. World Health Organization. Acessado em 16 de Maio de 2022 em

World Health Organization. (2022). WHO coronavirus (COVID-19) dashboard. World Health Organization. Acessado em 16 de Maio de 2022 em

Wu, Z., & McGoogan, J. M. (2020). Characteristics of and important lessons from the coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) outbreak in China. JAMA, 323(13), 1239.

Zhang, R., Li, Y., Zhang, A. L., Wang, Y., Molina, M. J. (2020). Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(26), 14857–14863.

Zhu, N., Zhang, D., Wang, W., Li, X., Yang, B., Song, J., Zhao, X., Huang, B., Shi, W., Lu, R., Niu, P., Zhan, F., Ma, X., Wang, D., Xu, W., Wu, G., Gao, G. F., & Tan, W. (2020). A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. New England Journal of Medicine, 382(8), 727–733.

Zipeto, D., Palmeira, J., Argañaraz, G. A., & Argañaraz, E. R. (2020). ACE2/ADAM17/TMPRSS2 Interplay May Be the Main Risk Factor for COVID-19. Frontiers in Immunology, 11, 576745.



How to Cite

SIQUEIRA, A. R.; MARCON, C. E. M.; TREVISOL, F. S. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of older adults with COVID-19 in a southern Santa Catarina city. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 11, p. e502111133851, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i11.33851. Disponível em: Acesso em: 4 dec. 2023.



Health Sciences