Obesity is Associated with Increased Risk for Mortality Among Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Oct;28(10):1806-1810. doi: 10.1002/oby.22941. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Abstract

Objective: Obesity has been identified as a risk factor for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus. This study sought to determine whether obesity is a risk factor for mortality among patients with COVID-19.

Methods: The study was a retrospective cohort that included patients with COVID-19 between March 1 and April 18, 2020.

Results: A total of 238 patients were included; 218 patients (91.6%) were African American, 113 (47.5%) were male, and the mean age was 58.5 years. Of the included patients, 146 (61.3%) had obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2 ), of which 63 (26.5%), 29 (12.2%), and 54 (22.7%) had class 1, 2, and 3 obesity, respectively. Obesity was identified as a predictor for mortality (odds ratio [OR] 1.7 [1.1-2.8], P = 0.016), as was male gender (OR 5.2 [1.6-16.5], P = 0.01) and older age (OR 3.6 [2.0-6.3], P < 0.0005). Obesity (OR 1.7 [1.3-2.1], P < 0.0005) and older age (OR 1.3 [1.0-1.6], P = 0.03) were also risk factors for hypoxemia.

Conclusions: Obesity was found to be a significant predictor for mortality among inpatients with COVID-19 after adjusting for age, gender, and other comorbidities. Patients with obesity were also more likely to present with hypoxemia.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronavirus Infections / mortality*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / mortality*
  • Obesity / virology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States / epidemiology