Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2021 Dec 29;16(1):102373. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2021.102373. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Obesity has been reported to be one of the most frequent comorbidities in COVID-19 patients and associated with higher rates of in-hospital mortality compared to non-obese patients. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is also known to be a complication associated with obesity in critically-ill COVID-19 patients. We aimed to investigate whether obesity was associated with increased risk of in-hospital mortality and AKI among patients with COVID-19 treated with corticosteroids.
METHODS: We utilized 9965 hospitalized COVID-19 patient data and divided patients who were treated with corticosteroids into 6 groups by body mass index (BMI) (less than 18.5, 18.5-25, 25-30, 30-35, 35-40, 40 kg/m2 or greater). The association between BMI and in-hospital mortality and between BMI and incidence rate of AKI during admission among COVID-19 patients receiving corticosteroids were retrospectively investigated.
RESULTS: There were 4587 study participants receiving corticosteroids (mean age 66.5 ± 15.5 years, men 56.6%, mean BMI 29.0 ± 7.2 kg/m2). The smooth spline curve suggested a J-shape association between BMI and in-hospital mortality. Patients with BMI above 40 kg/m2 exhibited a higher in-hospital mortality and higher incidence rate of AKI during admission compared to patients with BMI between 25 and 30 kg/m2. The differences in in-hospital mortality and the rate of AKI were larger among patients with severe COVID-19.
CONCLUSIONS: Class III obesity was associated with high in-hospital mortality and AKI in patients with COVID-19 treated by corticosteroids. Clinicians must stay vigilant on the impact of class III obesity and development of AKI to disease trajectory of COVID-19 patients.