Little is known about dengue’s epidemiology and clinical features in elderly patients in endemic areas. Nevertheless it is presumed that severity, complications and mortality are higher in this age group. The aim of this study was to describe the incidence of dengue infection in elderly with acute febrile syndrome, and to describe the complications and severity of clinical presentation, in a known dengue endemic area.
Methods: We conducted an observational and descriptive study in a cohort of elderly patients with serological diagnosis of dengue in Cali, Colombia
A total of 215 febrile elderly patients were assessed, of which 37 patients (17.2%) were found to have dengue. Median age was 71 years, 48.7% were female. Patients with at least one comorbidity were 97.3%. Serological tests were 51.4% positive for NS1 Ag, 27% for IgM and 54.1% for IgG; 37.8% were primary infections, and 62.2% were secondary infections. Most frequent symptoms at admissions were: Fever 91.9%, myalgia 81.1%, headache 48.6%. Severity of infection was categorized according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria: dengue in 62.2%, dengue with warning signs in16.2%, and severe dengue in 21.6%. Nearly fifty seven percent (56.7%) were admitted to hospital, and 21.6% were admitted to intensive care unit (ICU). None died. Median hospital days of were 4 (1-8) for those admitted to general wards, and 2.5 days (0.5-10) for those requiring ICU admission.
Dengue infection in adults living in endemic areas is expected to happen earlier in adult life. However, we found a high proportion of cases (almost 20%) in patient’s ≥65 years of age, with more than half classified as severe infection and requiring hospitalization. However no one died. In regions becoming hyperendemic as Colombia, dengue infection is still frequent in elderly patients.
S. Rodríguez, None
S. Vanegas, None