Background: Estimating the risk of pre-existing comorbidities on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality may promote the importance of targeting populations at risk to improve survival. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to estimate the association of pre-existing comorbidities with COVID-19 mortality.
Methods: We searched MEDLINE, SCOPUS, OVID, and Cochrane Library databases, and medrxiv.org from December 1st, 2019, to July 9th, 2020. The outcome of interest was the risk of COVID-19 mortality in patients with and without pre-existing comorbidities. We analyzed 11 comorbidities: cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and HIV/AIDS. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed the risk of bias. All analyses were performed using random-effects models and heterogeneity was quantified.
Results: Eleven pre-existing comorbidities from 25 studies were included in the meta-analysis (n = 65, 484 patients with COVID-19; mean age; 61 years; 57% male). Overall, the between-study heterogeneity was medium, and studies had low publication bias and high quality. Cardiovascular disease (risk ratio (RR) 2.25, 95% CI = 1.60-3.17, number of studies (n) = 14), hypertension (1.82 [1.43 to 2.32], n = 13), diabetes (1.48 [1.02 to 2.15], n = 16), congestive heart failure (2.03 [1.28 to 3.21], n = 3), chronic kidney disease (3.25 [1.13 to 9.28)], n = 9) and cancer (1.47 [1.01 to 2.14), n = 10) were associated with a significantly greater risk of mortality from COVID-19.
Conclusions: Patients with COVID-19 with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease and cancer have a greater risk of mortality compared to patients with COVID-19 without these comorbidities. Tailored infection prevention and treatment strategies targeting this high-risk population might improve survival.