Obesity as a Potential Predictor of Disease Severity in Young COVID-19 Patients: A Retrospective Study

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Jun 29. doi: 10.1002/oby.22943. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To explore the indicators for severity in young COVID-19 patients age between 18 to 40.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study includes 65 consecutively admitted COVID-19 patients age between 18 to 40 in Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University. Among them, 53 were moderate cases, 12 were severe or critical cases. Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory characteristics and treatment data were collected. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was implemented to explore risk factors.

Results: The severe/critical cases have obviously higher BMI (average 29.23 vs. 22.79kg/m2 ) and lower liver CT value (average 50.00 vs. 65.00mU) than moderate cases group. The severe/critical cases have higher fasting glucose, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) , aspartate aminotransferase (AST) , and creatinine (Cr) compared with moderate cases (All P<0.01) . More severe/critical cases (58.33% vs. 1.92%) have positive urine protein. The severe/critical cases will experience a significant process of serum albumin decline. Logistic regression analysis showed that male, high body mass index (especially obesity), elevated fasting blood glucose and urinary protein positive are all risk factors for severe young COVID-19 patients.

Conclusion: Obesity is an important predictor of severity in young COVID-19 patients. The main mechanism is related to the damage of liver and kidney.

Keywords: COVID-19; Kidney; Liver disease; Obesity.