Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio and platelet to lymphocyte ratio, are they markers of COVID-19 severity or old age and frailty? A comparison of two distinct cohorts

Yochai Levy, Estela Derazne, Alex Shilovsky, Dana Kagansky, Alex Derkath, Victor Chepelev, Evelina Mazurez, Ilia Stambler, Nadya Kagansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) are simple markers of systemic inflammatory responses. It has been previously suggested that they can predict COVID-19 severity. Age and frailty may also influence their values. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 severity versus age and frailty on NLR and PLR values. This was a retrospective, observational two cohorts’ comparative study. The first cohort is comprised of patents positive for SARS-CoV-2, with mild or asymptomatic disease, admitted to designated COVID-19 departments in a large geriatric medical center (GMC). The second included patients with COVID-19 admitted to designated COVID-19 departments in a large general hospital for symptomatic disease from March 2020 to March 2021. We compared baseline characteristics including comorbidities and chronic medications, disease symptoms, laboratory tests and compared the NLR and PLR between the two groups. The 177 patients admitted to the COVID-designated department in the GMC were over three decades older than the 289 COVID-19 patients admitted to the general hospital care (HC). They had substantially more comorbidities and chronic medications. All common disease symptoms were significantly more common in the HC group. Almost two thirds of the GMC patients remained asymptomatic compared to 2.1% in the HC group. Inflammatory markers, such as CRP and LDH, were significantly higher in the HC group. The NLR and PLR were both significantly higher in the GMC cohort comprised of older frailer patients with milder disease. NLR and PLR seem to be affected more by age and frailty than COVID-19 severity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1222692
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Levy, Derazne, Shilovsky, Kagansky, Derkath, Chepelev, Mazurez, Stambler and Kagansky.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • frailty
  • geriatric
  • neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio
  • nursing homes
  • old age
  • platelet to lymphocyte ratio

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