Clinical manifestations, laboratory profile and outcomes of dengue virus infection in hospitalised older patients

Wei Yao Ng, Chin Fang Ngim, Kuan Yee Chow, Sarah Xiu Ming Goh, Masliza Zaid, Amreeta Dhanoa

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3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Due to an ageing population, dengue among older patients is encountered more frequently in many countries. Our study aimed to explore the clinico-laboratory parameters and outcomes among dengue-infected older patients in comparison with younger patients. METHODS: This retrospective chart review involved dengue patients with dengue non-structural protein 1 (NS1) antigen positivity admitted to a tertiary hospital in Malaysia from January to July 2015. A comparison was made between older people (aged ≥60 y) and others. RESULTS: Among 406 dengue patients, 43 (10.6%) were older people. Older dengue patients were less likely to present with persistent vomiting (adjusted OR [AOR] 0.247, 95% CI 0.093 to 0.656, p=0.005), while restlessness and confusion were more common at presentation (AOR 3.356, 95% CI 1.024 to 11.003, p=0.046). Older patients had significantly lower albumin upon admission (38 vs 40 g/L, p=0.036) and during hospital stay (35 vs 37 g/L, p=0.015). Compared with younger patients, older patients were more likely to have experienced nadir platelet counts of <50×109/L (AOR 2.897, 95% CI to 1.176 to 7.137, p=0.021). They were also more likely to require an extended hospital stay (AOR 3.547, 95% CI 1.575 to 7.986, p=0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Diagnosis of dengue in older people may be challenging because of atypical presentations. Increased vigilance is necessary as there is an increased tendency to develop severe thrombocytopenia, hypoalbuminemia and prolonged hospitalisation in older people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-554
Number of pages10
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • aged
  • clinical presentation
  • dengue
  • dengue virus
  • older people

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