Objective: This study examined the association between BMI and clinical outcomes among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection.
Methods: A total of 10,861 patients with COVID-19 infection who were admitted to the Northwell Health system hospitals between March 1, 2020, and April 27, 2020, were included in this study. BMI was classified as underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity classes I, II, and III. Primary outcomes were invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) and death.
Results: A total of 243 (2.2%) patients were underweight, 2,507 (23.1%) were normal weight, 4,021 (37.0%) had overweight, 2,345 (21.6%) had obesity class I, 990 (9.1%) had obesity class II, and 755 (7.0%) had obesity class III. Patients who had overweight (odds ratio [OR] = 1.27 [95% CI: 1.11-1.46]), obesity class I (OR = 1.48 [95% CI: 1.27-1.72]), obesity class II (OR = 1.89 [95% CI: 1.56-2.28]), and obesity class III (OR = 2.31 [95% CI: 1.88-2.85]) had an increased risk of requiring IMV. Underweight and obesity classes II and III were statistically associated with death (OR = 1.44 [95% CI: 1.08-1.92]; OR = 1.25 [95% CI: 1.03-1.52]; OR = 1.61 [95% CI: 1.30-2.00], respectively). Among patients who were on IMV, BMI was not associated with inpatient deaths.
Conclusions: Patients who are underweight or who have obesity are at risk for mechanical ventilation and death, suggesting that pulmonary complications (indicated by IMV) are a significant contributor for poor outcomes in COVID-19 infection.
© 2020 The Obesity Society.