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Obesity and COVID-19 Severity in a Designated Hospital in Shenzhen, China

18 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2020

See all articles by Cai Qingxian

Cai Qingxian

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

Fengjuan Chen

Guangzhou Medical University - Guangzhou Eighth People's Hospital

Luo Fang

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

Liu Xiaohui

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

Wang Tao

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - School of Public Health

Wu Qikai

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

He Qing

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

Wang Zhaoqin

Southern University of Science and Technology - Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory

Yingxia Liu

Southern University of Science and Technology - State Key Discipline of Infectious Disease

Chen Jun

Southern University of Science and Technology - Department of Liver Diseases

Liu Lei

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

Xu Lin

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - School of Public Health

More...

Abstract

Background: Patients with obesity are at increased risk of exacerbations from viral respiratory infections. However, the association of obesity with severity of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unclear. We hereby examined this association using data from the only referral hospital in Shenzhen, China.

Methods: 383 COVID-19 patients admitted from 11 January to 16 February 2020 in the Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen, China were included. Underweight was defined by body mass index (BMI) lower than 18·5 kg/m2, normal weight by 18·5-23·9 kg/m2 , overweight by 24·0- 27·9 kg/m2 and obesity as ≥28 kg/m2.

Findings: Of them, 53·1% were normal weight, 4·2% were underweight, 32·0% were overweight, and 10·7% were obese. Patients with obesity, versus without, were tended to have cough (P=0·03) and fever (P=0·06). After adjusting for potential confounders, compared to normal weight, overweight showed 86% higher, and obesity group showed 2·42-fold higher odds of developing severe pneumonia. Despite a non-significant sex interaction was found (P=0·09), the association appeared to be more pronounced in men than in women. The odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for severe pneumonia in overweight and obesity was 1·96 (0·78-4·98) and 5·70 (1·83-17·76) in men, and 1·51 (0·57-4·01) and 0·71 (0·07-7·3) in women, respectively.

Interpretation: This is the first study showing that obesity, especially in men, significantly increases the risk of developing severe pneumonia in COVID-19 patients. As the 2019n-Cov may continue to spread worldwide, clinicians should maintain a high level of attention in obese patients. Obese patients should be carefully managed with prompt and aggressive treatment.

Funding Statement: Sanming Project of Medicine in Shenzhen (SZSM201412003, SZSM201512005) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations, Shenzhen Science and Technology Research and Development Project (202002073000001).

Declaration of Interests: All authors declare no competing interests.

Ethics Approval Statement: This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of The Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen (2020 108). All patients provided signed informed consent at admission.

Keywords: Obesity; COVID-19

Suggested Citation

Qingxian, Cai and Chen, Fengjuan and Fang, Luo and Xiaohui, Liu and Tao, Wang and Qikai, Wu and Qing, He and Zhaoqin, Wang and Liu, Yingxia and Jun, Chen and Lei, Liu and Lin, Xu, Obesity and COVID-19 Severity in a Designated Hospital in Shenzhen, China (3/13/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3556658 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3556658

Cai Qingxian

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

China

Fengjuan Chen

Guangzhou Medical University - Guangzhou Eighth People's Hospital

Guangzhou, 510080
China

Luo Fang

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

China

Liu Xiaohui

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

China

Wang Tao

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - School of Public Health

China

Wu Qikai

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

China

He Qing

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases

China

Wang Zhaoqin

Southern University of Science and Technology - Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory

Shenzhen
China

Yingxia Liu

Southern University of Science and Technology - State Key Discipline of Infectious Disease ( email )

Shenzhen
China

Chen Jun

Southern University of Science and Technology - Department of Liver Diseases ( email )

Shenzhen, 518100
China

Liu Lei

Southern University of Science and Technology - National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases ( email )

China
+86-13510333313 (Phone)

Xu Lin (Contact Author)

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - School of Public Health ( email )

China

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