1 May 2020 – Policy Brief

Risk factors for severe manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection

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An update of this policy brief has been published on 19 November (click here).


The evaluation of the risk of hospital and ICU admission, as well as the mortality associated with the COVID-19 is an important tool to plan the necessary resources to manage and care for patients, and to evaluate the consequences of the disease. Knowing associated risk factors will enable better care for patients, including advice regarding specific drugs either associated or as important not associated with an increased risk for mortality. Despite a high number of infected patients around the world, and many published data, the quality of these publications is generally low, with a risk of bias and confounding factors. Even though this should therefore be interpreted with great caution, and regularly evaluated, older age and cardiovascular and pulmonary comorbidities are associated with a higher risk of severe disease.

Date of request: 19/4/2020
Date of response: 1/5/2020

In response to request from: NCS-TF Advisory Board

Comment on planned updates: This is a short systematic review by the group, based on the work of N. Müller (USZ) and T. Fumeaux (SGI) and the Clinical Care Group. The literature search was updated on 01.05.2020. Data are regularly published, with a progressive increase in the methodological quality and better reproducibility, this document will therefore be updated after 4 weeks, and thereafter when necessary.

Expert groups and individuals involved: Clinical Group

Contact persons: Nicolas Müller (Nicolas.Mueller@usz.ch) – Thierry Fumeaux (thierry.fumeaux@ghol.ch) – Manuel Battegay (Manuel.Battegay@usb.ch), Head of  Clinical Expert Group

As the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force has been disbanded as of 31 March 2022, no further epidemiological assessments, scientific updates or policy briefs will be published in the future. All previous publications, pages and information of the Science Task Force remain available on this website.