Evaluation of risk factors for COVID-19 severity or death and their relationship to metabolic pathways

Heliyon. 2023 Mar;9(3):e14161. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e14161. Epub 2023 Feb 28.


Background: Since the state of alarm was declared due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have been the main ones in charge of registering the therapeutic follow-up of affected people. The analysis of these data has allowed those different biochemical markers have been identified as predictors of the severity of the disease, but most of the published studies tend to be eminently descriptive and do not propose a biochemical hypothesis to explain the alteration of the results they are showing. Our objective is to recognize the main metabolic processes that are occurring in COVID-19 patients, as well as the identification of clinical parameters that are decisive to predict the severity of the disease.

Methods: A multivariate analysis was carried out from the clinical parameters collected in the database of the HM hospitals in Madrid, to determine the most relevant variables to predict the severity of the disease. Chemometric methods allow these variables to be obtained by applying a classification strategy with PLS-LDA.

Findings and interpretation: The variables that most contribute to separation are age in men and, in both sexes, the concentration of lactate dehydrogenase, urea and C-reactive protein.Oxygen deficiency in the tissues, due to the loss of functionality of the lungs, could be affecting the muscle tissue with special severity. Inflammation and tissue damage is related to increased LDH and CRP. The loss of muscle mass and the increase in the concentration of urea and LDH is explained by the adaptation of muscle metabolism to this oxygen deficiency.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profits sectors.

Keywords: Biochemistry; COVID-19; Chemometric; Metabolomics; Prognosis.