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Risk Factors for Developing COVID-19: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study (COVIDENCE UK)
26 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2021More...
Background: Risk factors for severe COVID-19 include older age, male sex, obesity, Black or Asian ethnicity and underlying medical conditions. Whether these factors also influence susceptibility to developing COVID-19 is uncertain.
Methods: We undertook a prospective, population-based cohort study (COVIDENCE UK) from 1 st May 2020 to 5 th February 2021 . Baseline information on potential risk factors was captured by an online questionnaire. Monthly follow-up questionnaires captured incident COVID-19. We used logistic regression models to estimate multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for associations between potential risk factors and risk of COVID-19.
Findings: We recorded 446 incident cases of COVID-19 in 15,227 participants (2.9%). Increased risk of developing COVID-19 was independently associated with Asian/Asian British vs . White ethnicity (aOR 2.31, 95% CI 1.35-3.95), household overcrowding (aOR per additional 0.5 people/bedroom 1.26, 1.11-1.43) , any vs . no visits to/from other households in previous week (aOR 1.33, 1.07-1.64), number of visits to indoor public places (aOR per extra visit per week 1.05, 1.01-1.09), frontline occupation excluding health/social care vs. no frontline occupation (aOR 1.49, 1.12-1.98), and raised body mass index (BMI) (aOR 1.51 [1.20-1.90] for BMI 25.0-30.0 kg/m 2 and 1.38 [1.05-1.82] for BMI >30.0 kg/m 2 vs. BMI <25.0 kg/m 2 ). Atopic disease was independently associated with decreased risk (aOR 0.76, 0.59-0.98). No independent associations were seen for age, sex, other medical conditions, diet, or micronutrient supplement use.
Interpretation: After rigorous adjustment for factors influencing exposure to SARS-CoV-2, Asian/Asian British ethnicity and raised BMI were associated with increased risk of developing COVID-19, while atopic disease was associated with decreased risk.
Trial Registration: It is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04330599).
Funding: Barts Charity, Health Data Research UK
Declaration of Interest: None to declare.
Ethical Approval: The study was sponsored by Queen Mary University of London and approved by
Leicester South Research Ethics Committee (ref 20/EM/0117).
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation