Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly spreading worldwide, notably in Europe and North America where obesity is highly prevalent. The relation between obesity and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has not been fully documented.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study analyzed the relationship between clinical characteristics, including BMI, and the requirement for invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) in 124 consecutive patients admitted in intensive care for SARS-CoV-2 in a single French center.
Results: Obesity (BMI > 30) and severe obesity (BMI > 35) were present in 47.6% and 28.2% of cases, respectively. Overall, 85 patients (68.6%) required IMV. The proportion of patients who required IMV increased with BMI categories (P < 0.01, χ2 test for trend), and it was greatest in patients with BMI > 35 (85.7%). In multivariate logistic regression, the need for IMV was significantly associated with male sex (P < 0.05) and BMI (P < 0.05), independent of age, diabetes, and hypertension. The odds ratio for IMV in patients with BMI > 35 versus patients with BMI < 25 was 7.36 (1.63-33.14; P = 0.02).
Conclusions: The present study showed a high frequency of obesity among patients admitted in intensive care for SARS-CoV-2. Disease severity increased with BMI. Obesity is a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 severity, requiring increased attention to preventive measures in susceptible individuals.
© 2020 The Obesity Society.