Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread, and younger patients are also being critically affected. This study analyzed obesity as an independent risk factor for mortality in hospitalized patients younger than 50.
Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed data of patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized to a large academic hospital system in New York City between March 1, 2020, and May 17, 2020. Data included demographics, comorbidities, BMI, and smoking status. Obesity groups included the following: BMI of 30 to < 40 kg/m2 and BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2 . Multivariable logistic regression models identified variables independently associated with mortality in patients younger and older than 50.
Results: Overall, 3,406 patients were included; 572 (17.0%) patients were younger than 50. In the younger age group, 60 (10.5%) patients died. In the older age group, 1,076 (38.0%) patients died. For the younger population, BMI ≥ 40 was independently associated with mortality (adjusted odds ratio 5.1; 95% CI: 2.3-11.1). For the older population, BMI ≥ 40 was also independently associated with mortality to a lesser extent (adjusted odds ratio 1.6; 95% CI: 1.2-2.3).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that hospitalized patients younger than 50 with severe obesity are more likely to die of COVID-19. This is particularly relevant in the Western world, where obesity rates are high.
© 2020 The Obesity Society.