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Age modifies both the maximal temperature and inflammatory response in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection

Crooks, Colin J; West, Joe; Morling, Joanne R; Simmonds, Mark; Juurlink, Irene; Briggs, Steve; Cruickshank, Simon; Hammond-Pears, Susan; Shaw, Dominick; Card, Timothy R; Fogarty, Andrew


Professor of Epidemiology

Mark Simmonds

Irene Juurlink

Steve Briggs

Simon Cruickshank

Susan Hammond-Pears

Clinical Associate Professor

Clinical Associate Professor & Reader in Clinical Epidemiology


Objective To determine the maximal response of the temperature and inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and how these are modified by age.

Methods Participants were patients admitted to hospital with SARS-CoV-2 infection. For each participant, the maximal temperature and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) were identified and stratified by age. In a secondary analysis, these were compared in patients treated before and after dexamethasone.

Results Mean maximal temperature varied by age (p<0.001; ANOVA) with the highest mean maximal temperature of 37.3°C observed in patients aged 30–49 years and decreasing maximal mean temperatures in the older age groups, with the lowest measure of 36.8°C observed in individuals aged 90–99 years. The mean maximal serum CRP also varied across age groups (p<0.001; ANOVA) and increased with age across all age categories from 34.5 mg/dL (95% confidence interval (CI) 22.0–47.0) for individuals aged 20–29 years to 77.6 mg/dL (95% CI 72.0–83.2) in those aged 80–89 years. After dexamethasone became standard treatment for COVID-19 pneumonia, mean maximal CRP decreased by 17 mg/dL (95% CI −22 to −11).

Conclusion Age modifies both maximal temperature and systemic inflammatory response in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Crooks, C. J., West, J., Morling, J. R., Simmonds, M., Juurlink, I., Briggs, S., …Fogarty, A. (2022). Age modifies both the maximal temperature and inflammatory response in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Clinical Medicine, 22(3), 192-196.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 6, 2022
Online Publication Date May 18, 2022
Publication Date 2022-05
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 31, 2022
Journal Clinical Medicine
Print ISSN 1470-2118
Electronic ISSN 1473-4893
Publisher Royal College of Physicians
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 3
Pages 192-196
Keywords Covid-19 infection; temperature; CRP; systemic inflammation; corticosteroids
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