Impact of Age and Sex on COVID-19 Severity Assessed From Radiologic and Clinical Findings

Yauhen Statsenko, Fatmah Al Zahmi, Tetiana Habuza, Taleb M. Almansoori, Darya Smetanina, Gillian Lylian Simiyu, Klaus Neidl-Van Gorkom, Milos Ljubisavljevic, Rasha Awawdeh, Hossam Elshekhali, Martin Lee, Nassim Salamin, Ruhina Sajid, Dhanya Kiran, Sanjay Nihalani, Tom Loney, Antony Bedson, Alireza Dehdashtian, Jamal Al Koteesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Data on the epidemiological characteristics and clinical features of COVID-19 in patients of different ages and sex are limited. Existing studies have mainly focused on the pediatric and elderly population. Objective: Assess whether age and sex interact with other risk factors to influence the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Material and Methods: The study sample included all consecutive patients who satisfied the inclusion criteria and who were treated from 24 February to 1 July 2020 in Dubai Mediclinic Parkview (560 cases) and Al Ain Hospital (605 cases), United Arab Emirates. We compared disease severity estimated from the radiological findings among patients of different age groups and sex. To analyze factors associated with an increased risk of severe disease, we conducted uni- and multivariate regression analyses. Specifically, age, sex, laboratory findings, and personal risk factors were used to predict moderate and severe COVID-19 with conventional machine learning methods. Results: Need for O2 supplementation was positively correlated with age. Intensive care was required more often for men of all ages (p < 0.01). Males were more likely to have at least moderate disease severity (p = 0.0083). These findings were aligned with the results of biochemical findings and suggest a direct correlation between older age and male sex with a severe course of the disease. In young males (18–39 years), the percentage of the lung parenchyma covered with consolidation and the density characteristics of lesions were higher than those of other age groups; however, there was no marked sex difference in middle-aged (40–64 years) and older adults (≥65 years). From the univariate analysis, the risk of the non-mild COVID-19 was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in midlife adults and older adults compared to young adults. The multivariate analysis provided similar findings. Conclusion: Age and sex were important predictors of disease severity in the set of data typically collected on admission. Sexual dissimilarities reduced with age. Age disparities were more pronounced if studied with the clinical markers of disease severity than with the radiological markers. The impact of sex on the clinical markers was more evident than that of age in our study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number777070
JournalFrontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 25 2022


  • COVID-19
  • age
  • machine learning
  • radiomics
  • risk stratification
  • severity
  • sex
  • viral pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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