Obesity aggravates COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Med Virol. 2021 Jan;93(1):257-261. doi: 10.1002/jmv.26237. Epub 2020 Oct 5.


Obesity and COVID-19 are both worldwide epidemics now. There may be some potential relationships between them, but little is known. This study was done to explore this relationship through literature search, systematic review, and meta-analysis. Pubmed, Embase, WOS, Cochrane, CNKI, Wanfang, and Sinomed databases were searched to collect literature concerning obesity and COVID-19. Systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted after literature screening, quality assessment, and data extraction. A total of 180 articles were initially searched after duplicate removal, and 9 were finally included in our analysis. Results show that severe COVID-19 patients have a higher body mass index than non-severe ones (WMD = 2.67; 95% CI, 1.52-3.82); COVID-19 patients with obesity were more severely affected and have a worse outcome than those without (OR = 2.31; 95% CI, 1.3-4.12). Obesity may aggravate COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; meta-analysis; obesity; risk factor; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • COVID-19 / physiopathology*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / virology
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index