COVID‐19 continues to spread and younger patients are also being critically affected. This study analyzed obesity as an independent risk factor for mortality in hospitalized patients younger than fifty.
We retrospectively analyzed data of COVID‐19 patients hospitalized to a large academic hospital system in New York City between March 1st and May 17th, 2020. Data included demographics, comorbidities, BMI and smoking status. Obesity groups included: BMI 30–40 kg/m2 and BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2. Multivariable logistic regression models identified variables independently associated with mortality in patients younger and older than 50.
Overall, 3,406 patients were included. 572 (17.0%) of the patients were younger than 50. In the younger age group, 60 (10.5%) patients died. In the older age group, 1,076 (38.0%) patients died. For the younger population, BMI above 40 kg/m2 was independently associated with mortality (aOR 5.1, 95% CI 2.3–11.1). For the older population, BMI above 40 kg/m2 was also independently associated with mortality to a lesser extent (aOR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2 – 2.3).
Our study demonstrates that hospitalized patients younger than 50 with morbid obesity are more likely to die from COVID‐19. This is particularly relevant in the western world where obesity rates are high.