Characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital with and without respiratory symptoms

Barbara Wanjiru Citarella*, Christiana Kartsonaki, Elsa D. Ibáñez-Prada, Bronner P. Gonçalves, Joaquin Baruch, Martina Escher, Mark G. Pritchard, Jia Wei, Fred Philippy, Andrew Dagens, Matthew Hall, James Lee, Demetrios James Kutsogiannis, Evert Jan Wils, Marília Andreia Fernandes, Bharath Kumar Tirupakuzhi Vijayaraghavan, Prasan Kumar Panda, Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Shinichiro Ohshimo, Arie Zainul FatoniPeter Horby, Jake Dunning, Jordi Rello, Laura Merson, Amanda Rojek, Michel Vaillant, Piero Olliaro, Luis Felipe Reyes, S. A. Moharam, Sabriya Abdalasalam, Alaa Abdalfattah Abdalhadi, Naana Reyam Abdalla, Walaa Abdalla, Almthani Hamza Abdalrheem, Ashraf Abdalsalam, Saedah Abdeewi, Esraa Hassan Abdelgaum, Mohamed Abdelhalim, Mohammed Abdelkabir, Israa Abdelrahman, Sheryl Ann Abdukahil, Lamees Adil Abdulbaqi, Salaheddin Abdulhamid, Widyan Abdulhamid, Nurul Najmee Abdulkadir, Eman Abdulwahed, Rawad Abdunabi, Ryuzo Abe, Laurent Abel, Ahmed Mohammed Abodina, the ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Group

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: COVID-19 is primarily known as a respiratory illness; however, many patients present to hospital without respiratory symptoms. The association between non-respiratory presentations of COVID-19 and outcomes remains unclear. We investigated risk factors and clinical outcomes in patients with no respiratory symptoms (NRS) and respiratory symptoms (RS) at hospital admission. Methods: This study describes clinical features, physiological parameters, and outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 patients, stratified by the presence or absence of respiratory symptoms at hospital admission. RS patients had one or more of: cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose or wheezing; while NRS patients did not. Results: Of 178,640 patients in the study, 86.4 % presented with RS, while 13.6 % had NRS. NRS patients were older (median age: NRS: 74 vs RS: 65) and less likely to be admitted to the ICU (NRS: 36.7 % vs RS: 37.5 %). NRS patients had a higher crude in-hospital case-fatality ratio (NRS 41.1 % vs. RS 32.0 %), but a lower risk of death after adjusting for confounders (HR 0.88 [0.83–0.93]). Conclusion: Approximately one in seven COVID-19 patients presented at hospital admission without respiratory symptoms. These patients were older, had lower ICU admission rates, and had a lower risk of in-hospital mortality after adjusting for confounders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29591
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2024


  • COVID-19
  • Mortality
  • Non-respiratory symptoms
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Risk factors


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