The unavoidable costs of frailty: a geriatric perspective in the time of COVID-19

  • Maria Cristina Polidori | Professor of Geriatrics and Head Ageing Clinical Research, Department Medicine II, University Hospital of Cologne and Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-associated Diseases, CECAD, University of Cologne, Germany.
  • Stefania Maggi Director Aging Section, National Research Council (CNR), Padova, Italy.
  • Francesco Mattace-Raso Head Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • Alberto Pilotto Director Department Geriatric Care, Orthogeriatrics and Rehabilitation, Galliera Hospital, Genova; Professor of Geriatrics, Department of Interdisciplinary Medicine, University of Bari, Italy.


The world is facing speechless one of the most feared, greatest catastrophes for human beings. Despite better healthcare systems, despite warnings through similar situations and even documented threats, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it found us largely unprepared. It offered to us on a silver tray the fragility of mankind. And once again, but this time in a particularly overwhelming way, the most vulnerable part of the world population is mowed down: older persons. Indeed, recent data from the Italian Istituto Superiore di Sanità showed that COVID-19 is more lethal in older subjects: in Italy, at the date of March 17, 2020, the overall case-fatality rate was 7.2% and 96.4% of died patients had more than 60 years. When data were stratified by age groups, individuals aged 70 years or older represent 35.5% of cases, while subjects aged ≥80 years were 52.3%. These data confirm once again that the older generation payed the highest price in time of crisis...



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Perspective Articles
COVID-19, frailty, geriatrics.
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How to Cite
Polidori, M. C., Maggi, S., Mattace-Raso, F., & Pilotto, A. (2020). The unavoidable costs of frailty: a geriatric perspective in the time of COVID-19. Geriatric Care, 6(1).