Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to global research with the aim of predicting which people are at greatest risk of developing severe disease and dying. The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the associations between obesity and the severity of and mortality due to COVID-19.
Methods: We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and Web of Science databases for studies evaluating the associations of obesity with COVID-19 . Odd risks (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random- or fixed-effects models.
Results: Thirty-eight studies involving 621502 patients were included. Compared with nonobese patients, obese patients had a significantly increased risk of infection (OR 3.19, 95% CI 1.45-7.03; I2 = 98.3%), hospitalization (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.61-1.95; I2 = 43.8%), clinically severe disease (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.99-4.16; I2 = 49.9%), mechanical ventilation (OR 1.66, 95% CI1.42-1.94; I2 = 41.3%), intensive care unit (ICU) (OR 2.06, 95% CI1.49-2.85; I2 = 71.4%), and mortality (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.18-1.85; I2 = 80.8%).
Conclusion: Patients with obesity may have a greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 and dying. Therefore, it is important to increase awareness of these associations with obesity in COVID-19 patients.