At enrollment (i.e., after acute care hospitalization) baseline anthropometrical and clinical data were collected. Comorbidities were assessed with the cumulative illness rating scale (CIRS) [11].

Respiratory evaluations included arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis (i.e., PaO2, PaCO2 and pH performed at room temperature) and spirometry (forced volume capacity (FVC)% of predicted, forced expiratory volume at 1 s (FEV1) % of predicted and FEV1/FVC) [12,13].

The values of circulating markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein: CRP; erythrocyte sedimentation rate: ESR) and coagulation (D-dimer) were analyzed in the blood at rest.

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