Cureus. 2021 Feb 5;13(2):e13165. doi: 10.7759/cureus.13165.
Background Obesity can be associated with one or more co-morbidities that worsen the effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Studies demonstrated that severe forms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have occurred in elderly patients and patients with co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Objective This study investigated the impact of obesity on COVID-19 severity, irrespective of other individual factors. Methods This retrospective observational study included all adult patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection, who were admitted to Sheikh Khalifa Ibn Zaid International University Hospital between March 20 and May 10, 2020. First, we compared patients with and those without obesity in terms of demographic characteristics, co-morbidities, clinical symptoms, and outcomes. Further, using logistic regression models, we analyzed the association between obesity and intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Also, we examined whether the association between obesity and ICU admission was also consistent among overweight patients. Results The study population included 107 patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection. Obese patients have been admitted in ICU more than patients without obesity (P-value = 0.035). While adjusting for other risk factors for ICU admission, we found that obesity was an independent risk factor for ICU admission (OR = 5.04, 95% CI (1.14-22.37)). When we examined the association of both obesity and overweight with ICU admission, we found that only obesity was significantly associated with ICU admission (OR = 9.11, 95% CI (1.49-55.84)). Conclusion Our study found that obesity was strongly associated with severity of COVID-19. The risk of ICU admission is greater in the presence of obesity. Physicians should be awarded to the need of specific and early management of obese patients with COVID-19 disease.