Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Aug 4. doi: 10.1002/oby.22937. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has disproportionately impacted the African American community. This study aims to identify the risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease in African American patients.
METHODS: This was a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of African American patients with COVID-19 treated between March 12 and April 9, 2020, at a single tertiary center. The primary outcome of interest was severe disease defined as those requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission.
RESULTS: The study included 158 consecutive patients. The mean age was 57 years, and 61% were women. The mean (SD) of BMI was 33.2 (8.6) kg/m2 . Overall, patients admitted to the ICU were older (62 vs. 55 years, P = 0.003) and had higher BMI (36.5 kg/m2 vs. 31.9 kg/m2 , P = 0.002). In unadjusted and adjusted analysis, the factors most associated with ICU admission in this sample were age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 1.073; 95% CI: 1.033-1.114), BMI (aOR: 1.115; 95% CI: 1.052-1.182), and lung disease (aOR: 3.097; 95% CI: 1.137-8.437).
CONCLUSIONS: This study identified risk factors for severe disease in COVID-19, specifically in an African American population. Further inclusive research aimed at optimizing clinical care relevant to the African American population is critical to ensure an equitable response to COVID-19.