The utility of MEWS for predicting the mortality in the elderly adults with COVID-19: A retrospective cohort study with comparison to other predictive clinical scores

Lichun Wang, Qingquan Lv, Xiaofei Zhang, Binyan Jiang, Enhe Liu, Chaoxing Xiao, Xinyang Yu, Chunhua Yang, Lei Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Older adults have been reported to be a population with high-risk of death in the COVID-19 outbreak. Rapid detection of high-risk patients is crucial to reduce mortality in this population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognositc accuracy of the Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS) for in-hospital mortality in older adults with COVID-19. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in Wuhan Hankou Hospital in China from 1 January 2020 to 29 February 2020. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to evaluate the predictive value of MEWS, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II), Sequential Organ Function Assessment (SOFA), quick Sequential Organ Function Assessment (qSOFA), Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI), Combination of Confusion, Urea, Respiratory Rate, Blood Pressure, and Age ≥65 (CURB-65), and the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Criteria (SIRS) for in-hospital mortality. Logistic regression models were performed to detect the high-risk older adults with COVID-19. Results: Among the 235 patients included in this study, 37 (15.74%) died and 131 (55.74%) were male, with an average age of 70.61 years (SD 8.02). ROC analysis suggested that the capacity of MEWS in predicting in-hospital mortality was as good as the APACHE II, SOFA, PSI and qSOFA (Difference in AUROC: MEWS vs. APACHE II, −0.025 (95% CI [−0.075 to 0.026]); MEWS vs. SOFA, −0.013 (95% CI [−0.049 to 0.024]); MEWS vs. PSI, −0.015 (95% CI [−0.065 to 0.035]); MEWS vs. qSOFA, 0.024 (95% CI [−0.029 to 0.076]), all P > 0.05), but was significantly higher than SIRS and CURB-65 (Difference in AUROC: MEWS vs. SIRS, 0.218 (95% CI [0.156–0.279]); MEWS vs. CURB-65, 0.064 (95% CI [0.002–0.125]), all P < 0.05). Logistic regression models implied that the male patients (≥75 years) had higher risk of death than the other older adults (estimated coefficients: 1.16, P = 0.044). Our analysis further suggests that the cut-off points of the MEWS score for the male patients (≥75 years) subpopulation and the other elderly patients should be 2.5 and 3.5, respectively. Conclusions: MEWS is an efficient tool for rapid assessment of elderly COVID-19 patients. MEWS has promising performance in predicting in-hospital mortality and identifying the high-risk group in elderly patients with COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10018
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Modified early warning score
  • Older adults
  • Outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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