Background: To identify the risk factors for COVID-19 pneumonia and to characterize the epidemiology of the disease.
Methods: This was a prospective study of consecutive patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and respiratory symptoms, enrolled between April 12 and April 30 of 2020. Pneumonia was diagnosed on the basis of abnormal chest CT findings. At admission, we performed a complete blood count, as well as determining serum levels of CRP, procalcitonin, D-dimer, ferritin, LDH, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D). Comorbidities, body mass index (BMI), and smoking habits were noted. We also analyzed the risk factors for development of COVID-19 pneumonia.
Results: We evaluated 124 patients (79 males) with a mean age of 38 ± 16.6 years. Fever was observed in 67 patients (54.0%), fatigue, cough, and dyspnea being observed in 94 (75.8%), 86 (69.3%), and 37 (29.8%), respectively. Of the 124 patients, 77 (62.1%) developed pneumonia. Common comorbidities in the patients with pneumonia were hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. D-dimer > 0.5 µg/mL (OR = 8.6; 95% CI: 3.32 - 22.26, p < 0.001); 25(OH)D < 20 µg/dL (OR = 6.75; 95% CI: 2.81 - 16.21, p < 0.001); and age > 60 years (OR = 15.66; 95% CI: 2.02 - 121.40, p < 0.001) were variables showing significant correlation with COVID-19 pneumonia.
Conclusions: Serum 25(OH)D deficiency, high D-dimer levels, and advanced age are associated with a greater risk of developing COVID-19 pneumonia.