News items Two million euros for improved treatment and outcomes of COVID-19 in the elderly

10 September 2021

ZonMw awarded a grant of nearly two million euros to a large group of researchers to improve the outcomes of elderly people with COVID-19. The study, in which the Radboudumc also participates, provides insight into the course and treatment of COVID-19 in the elderly. What is special is that elderly people are explicitly involved in the study.

More than 90% of all deaths from COVID-19 occur in patients aged 70 years and older. Deterioration in daily functioning is common in the elderly as a result of going through COVID-19. In addition, elderly people are very different in terms of vitality and vulnerability. Customized treatment starts with a good estimation of the prognosis and knowledge about the disease, but especially in the elderly there is still much unknown.

Thanks to ZonMw funding for the COVID19 Outcomes in Older People (COOP) study, a research consortium will find answers to important questions about COVID-19 in the elderly, which have been drawn up by the Dutch Medical Specialists Federation in the COVID-19 Knowledge Agenda. The study is led by LUMC, other participating centers are Erasmus MC, Amsterdam UMC and UMC Utrecht.

Role of vulnerability

The COOP study uses Dutch survey data previously collected from more than ten large multicenter studies among older people with COVID-19 at home, and in primary care, hospitals, umbrella centers and nursing homes. Senior epidemiologist RenĂ© Melis of Radboudumc explains that several questions are central to the study. "We want to know whether frailty can predict the short- and long-term consequences of COVID-19 in the elderly. We also want to develop a model that can be used in healthcare to predict how someone will recover. Another area of research is the role of biological aging and frailty in mortality and recovery. Finally, we are exploring the goals that are important to older people in treatment decisions for acute serious conditions."

Read more about this research on the LUMC website.


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Pauline Dekhuijzen

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