Obesity and diabetes as high-risk factors for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)

Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2021 Feb;37(2):e3377. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.3377. Epub 2020 Jul 20.


The outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has become an evolving worldwide health crisis. With the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes has come an increasing awareness of their impacts on infectious diseases, including increased risk for various infections, post-infection complications and mortality from critical infections. Although epidemiological and clinical characteristics of Covid-19 have been constantly reported, no article has systematically illustrated the role of obesity and diabetes in Covid-19, or how Covid-19 affects obesity and diabetes, or special treatment in these at-risk populations. Here, we present a synthesis of the recent advances in our understanding of the relationships between obesity, diabetes and Covid-19 along with the underlying mechanisms, and provide special treatment guidance for these at-risk populations.

Keywords: Covid-19; diabetes mellitus; obesity; severe coronavirus disease 2019.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / pathology*
  • COVID-19 / therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Critical Illness / epidemiology
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Diabetes Complications / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Complications / pathology
  • Diabetes Complications / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Pandemics
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology
  • Severity of Illness Index