bims-covirf Biomed News
on COVID19 risk factors
Issue of 2020‒07‒19
nine papers selected by
Catherine Rycroft

  1. Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Jul 13. 12
    Fang X, Li S, Yu H, Wang P, Zhang Y, Chen Z, Li Y, Cheng L, Li W, Jia H, Ma X.
      A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted in an attempt to systematically collect and evaluate the associations of epidemiological, comorbidity factors with the severity and prognosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted according to the guidelines proposed by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Sixty nine publications met our study criteria, and 61 studies with more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases were eligible for the quantitative synthesis. We found that the males had significantly higher disease severity (RR: 1.20, 95% CI: 1.13-1.27, P <0.001) and more prognostic endpoints. Older age was found to be significantly associated with the disease severity and six prognostic endpoints. Chronic kidney disease contributed mostly for death (RR: 7.10, 95% CI: 3.14-16.02), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for disease severity (RR: 4.20, 95% CI: 2.82-6.25), admission to intensive care unit (ICU) (RR: 5.61, 95% CI: 2.68-11.76), the composite endpoint (RR: 8.52, 95% CI: 4.36-16.65,), invasive ventilation (RR: 6.53, 95% CI: 2.70-15.84), and disease progression (RR: 7.48, 95% CI: 1.60-35.05), cerebrovascular disease for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) (RR: 3.15, 95% CI: 1.23-8.04), coronary heart disease for cardiac abnormality (RR: 5.37, 95% CI: 1.74-16.54). Our study highlighted that the male gender, older age and comorbidities owned strong epidemiological evidence of associations with the severity and prognosis of COVID-19.
    Keywords:  2019-nCoV; COVID-19; SARS-Cov-2; meta-analysis
  2. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2020 Jul 08. pii: S1871-4021(20)30251-4. [Epub ahead of print]14(5): 1133-1142
    Zaki N, Alashwal H, Ibrahim S.
      BACKGROUND AND AIMS: To undertake a review and critical appraisal of published/preprint reports that offer methods of determining the effects of hypertension, diabetes, stroke, cancer, kidney issues, and high-cholesterol on COVID-19 disease severity.METHODS: A search was conducted by two authors independently on the freely available COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). We developed an automated search engine to screen a total of 59,000 articles in a few seconds. Filtering of the articles was then undertaken using keywords and questions, e.g. "Effects of diabetes on COVID/normal coronavirus/SARS-CoV-2/nCoV/COVID-19 disease severity, mortality?". The search terms were repeated for all the comorbidities considered in this paper. Additional articles were retrieved by searching via Google Scholar and PubMed.
    FINDINGS: A total of 54 articles were considered for a full review. It was observed that diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol levels possess an apparent relation to COVID-19 severity. Other comorbidities, such as cancer, kidney disease, and stroke, must be further evaluated to determine a strong relationship to the virus.
    CONCLUSION: Reports associating cancer, kidney disease, and stroke with COVID-19 should be carefully interpreted, not only because of the size of the samples, but also because patients could be old, have a history of smoking, or have any other clinical condition suggesting that these factors might be associated with the poor COVID-19 outcomes rather than the comorbidity itself. Further research regarding this relationship and its clinical management is warranted.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Cancer; Coronavirus; Diabetes; High blood pressure; High cholesterol; Hypertension; Kidney; SARS-CoV-2; Stroke
  3. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Jul 17. 69(28): 923-929
    Wortham JM, Lee JT, Althomsons S, Latash J, Davidson A, Guerra K, Murray K, McGibbon E, Pichardo C, Toro B, Li L, Paladini M, Eddy ML, Reilly KH, McHugh L, Thomas D, Tsai S, Ojo M, Rolland S, Bhat M, Hutchinson K, Sabel J, Eckel S, Collins J, Donovan C, Cope A, Kawasaki B, McLafferty S, Alden N, Herlihy R, Barbeau B, Dunn AC, Clark C, Pontones P, McLafferty ML, Sidelinger DE, Krueger A, Kollmann L, Larson L, Holzbauer S, Lynfield R, Westergaard R, Crawford R, Zhao L, Bressler JM, Read JS, Dunn J, Lewis A, Richardson G, Hand J, Sokol T, Adkins SH, Leitgeb B, Pindyck T, Eure T, Wong K, Datta D, Appiah GD, Brown J, Traxler R, Koumans EH, Reagan-Steiner S.
      During January 1, 2020-May 18, 2020, approximately 1.3 million cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and 83,000 COVID-19-associated deaths were reported in the United States (1). Understanding the demographic and clinical characteristics of decedents could inform medical and public health interventions focused on preventing COVID-19-associated mortality. This report describes decedents with laboratory-confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, using data from 1) the standardized CDC case-report form (case-based surveillance) ( and 2) supplementary data (supplemental surveillance), such as underlying medical conditions and location of death, obtained through collaboration between CDC and 16 public health jurisdictions (15 states and New York City).
  4. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020 ;7 348
    Galbadage T, Peterson BM, Awada J, Buck AS, Ramirez DA, Wilson J, Gunasekera RS.
      To successfully mitigate the extraordinary devastation caused by the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is crucial to identify important risk factors for this disease. One such neglected health determinant is the sex of the patient. This is an essential clinical characteristic, as it can factor into a patient's clinical management and preventative measures. Some clinical studies have shown disparities in the proportion between males and females that have more severe clinical outcomes or, subsequently, die from this disease. However, this association has not been unequivocally established. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to examine the association between male sex and COVID-19 severity. We systematically reviewed the literature, identified studies that matched predetermined selection criteria, and performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the proportion of males among four disease severity categories. Appropriate assessment strategies were implemented to assess and minimize potential biases. The results of this meta-analysis indicated that males constituted a significantly higher proportion of those who had adverse clinical outcomes and died from COVID-19. As the coronavirus spread from the East to the West, male sex remained a consistent risk factor. Our results support the establishment of the male sex as an important risk factor for this disease. Early identification and appropriate medical care for males with lab-confirmed COVID-19 may substantially change the course of clinical prognosis, resulting in greater numbers of lives saved.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; clinical outcomes; coronavirus; disparity; male; mortality; pandemic
  5. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2020 Jun 30. pii: S1871-4021(20)30230-7. [Epub ahead of print]14(5): 1149-1151
    Sattar N, Ho FK, Gill JM, Ghouri N, Gray SR, Celis-Morales CA, Katikireddi SV, Berry C, Pell JP, McMurray JJ, Welsh P.
      AIMS: We examined the link between BMI and risk of a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 and risk of COVID-19-related death among UK Biobank participants.METHODS: Among 4855 participants tested for SARS-CoV-2 in hospital, 839 were positive and of these 189 died from COVID-19. Poisson models with penalised thin plate splines were run relating exposures of interest to test positivity and case-fatality, adjusting for confounding factors.
    RESULTS: BMI was associated strongly with positive test, and risk of death related to COVID-19. The gradient of risk in relation to BMI was steeper in those under 70, compared with those aged 70 years or older for COVID-19 related death (Pinteraction = 0.03). BMI was more strongly related to test positivity (Pinteraction = 0.010) and death (Pinteraction = 0.002) in non-whites (predominantly South Asians and Afro-Caribbeans), compared with whites.
    CONCLUSIONS: These data add support for adiposity being more strongly linked to COVID-19-related deaths in younger people and non-white ethnicities. If future studies confirm causality, lifestyle interventions to improve adiposity status may be important to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in all, but perhaps particularly, non-white communities.
    Keywords:  Body mass index; COVID-19; Obesity
  6. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2020 Jul;pii: S1525-8610(20)30441-2. [Epub ahead of print]21(7): 915-918
    Bonanad C, García-Blas S, Tarazona-Santabalbina F, Sanchis J, Bertomeu-González V, Fácila L, Ariza A, Núñez J, Cordero A.
      OBJECTIVES: Initial data on COVID-19 infection has pointed out a special vulnerability of older adults.DESIGN: We performed a meta-analysis with available national reports on May 7, 2020 from China, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and New York State. Analyses were performed by a random effects model, and sensitivity analyses were performed for the identification of potential sources of heterogeneity.
    SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: COVID-19-positive patients reported in literature and national reports.
    MEASURES: All-cause mortality by age.
    RESULTS: A total of 611,1583 subjects were analyzed and 141,745 (23.2%) were aged ≥80 years. The percentage of octogenarians was different in the 5 registries, the lowest being in China (3.2%) and the highest in the United Kingdom and New York State. The overall mortality rate was 12.10% and it varied widely between countries, the lowest being in China (3.1%) and the highest in the United Kingdom (20.8%) and New York State (20.99%). Mortality was <1.1% in patients aged <50 years and it increased exponentially after that age in the 5 national registries. As expected, the highest mortality rate was observed in patients aged ≥80 years. All age groups had significantly higher mortality compared with the immediately younger age group. The largest increase in mortality risk was observed in patients aged 60 to 69 years compared with those aged 50 to 59 years (odds ratio 3.13, 95% confidence interval 2.61-3.76).
    CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This meta-analysis with more than half million of COVID-19 patients from different countries highlights the determinant effect of age on mortality with the relevant thresholds on age >50 years and, especially, >60 years. Older adult patients should be prioritized in the implementation of preventive measures.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; coronavirus; mortality; older adults
  7. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2020 Jul 09. pii: S1871-403X(20)30550-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    Hussain A, Mahawar K, Xia Z, Yang W, El-Hasani S.
      BACKGROUND: Obesity is a global disease with at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese according to the world health organization figures. This paper aims to explore the links between obesity and mortality in COVID-19.METHODS: Electronic search was made for the papers studying obesity as a risk factor for mortality following COVID-19 infection. Three authors independently selected the papers and agreed for final inclusion. The outcomes were the age, gender, body mass index, severe comorbidities, respiratory support and the critical illness related mortality in COVID-19. 572 publications were identified and 42 studies were selected including one unpublished study data. Only 14 studies were selected for quantitative analysis.
    RESULTS: All the primary points but the gender are significantly associated with COVID-19 mortality. The age >70, [odd ratio (OR): 0.17, CI; 95%, P-value: <0.00001], gender [OR: 0.89; CI: 95%, P-value: 0.32], BMI > 25 kg/m2 [OR: 3.68, CI: 95%, P-value: <0.003], severe comorbidities [OR: 1.84, CI:95%, P-value: <0.00001], advanced respiratory support [OR: 6.98, CI: 95%, P-value: <0.00001], and critical illness [OR: 2.03, CI: 95%, P-value: <0.00001].
    CONCLUSIONS: Patients with obesity are at high risk of mortality from COVID-19 infection.
    Keywords:  Body mass index; COVID-19; Intensive care unit; Mortality; Obesity; Total body weight; World Health Organization
  8. medRxiv. 2020 Jul 11. pii: 2020.07.10.20147777. [Epub ahead of print]
    Kuo CL, Pilling LC, Atkins JC, Masoli J, Delgado J, Tignanelli C, Kuchel G, Melzer D, Beckman KB, Levine M.
      With no known treatments or vaccine, COVID-19 presents a major threat, particularly to older adults, who account for the majority of severe illness and deaths. The age-related susceptibility is partly explained by increased comorbidities including dementia and type II diabetes. While it is unclear why these diseases predispose risk, we hypothesize that increased biological age, rather than chronological age, may be driving disease-related trends in COVID-19 severity with age. To test this hypothesis, we applied our previously validated biological age measure (PhenoAge) composed of chronological age and nine clinical chemistry biomarkers to data of 347,751 participants from a large community cohort in the United Kingdom (UK Biobank), recruited between 2006 and 2010. Other data included disease diagnoses (to 2017), mortality data (to 2020), and the UK national COVID-19 test results (to May 31, 2020). Accelerated aging 10-14 years prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with test positivity (OR=1.15 per 5-year acceleration, 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.21, p=3.2x10-6) and all-cause mortality with test-confirmed COVID-19 (OR=1.25, per 5-year acceleration, 95% CI: 1.09 to 1.44, p=0.002) after adjustment for demographics including current chronological age and pre-existing diseases or conditions. The corresponding areas under the curves were 0.669 and 0.803, respectively. Biological aging, as captured by PhenoAge, is a better predictor of COVID-19 severity than chronological age, and may inform risk stratification initiatives, while also elucidating possible underlying mechanisms, particularly those related to inflammaging.
  9. Ann Hematol. 2020 Jul 12.
    Latz CA, DeCarlo C, Boitano L, Png CYM, Patell R, Conrad MF, Eagleton M, Dua A.
      This study aimed to determine if there is an association between ABO blood type and severity of COVID-19 defined by intubation or death as well as ascertain if there is variability in testing positive for COVID-19 between blood types. In a multi-institutional study, all adult patients who tested positive for COVID-19 across five hospitals were identified and included from March 6th to April 16th, 2020. Hospitalization, intubation, and death were evaluated for association with blood type. Univariate analysis was conducted using standard techniques and logistic regression was used to determine the independent effect of blood type on intubation and/or death and positive testing. During the study period, there were 7648 patients who received COVID-19 testing throughout the institutions. Of these, 1289 tested positive with a known blood type. A total of 484 (37.5%) were admitted to hospital, 123 (9.5%) were admitted to the ICU, 108 (8.4%) were intubated, 3 (0.2%) required ECMO, and 89 (6.9%) died. Of the 1289 patients who tested positive, 440 (34.2%) were blood type A, 201 (15.6%) were blood type B, 61 (4.7%) were blood type AB, and 587 (45.5%) were blood type O. On univariate analysis, there was no association between blood type and any of the peak inflammatory markers (peak WBC, p = 0.25; peak LDH, p = 0.40; peak ESR, p = 0.16; peak CRP, p = 0.14) nor between blood type and any of the clinical outcomes of severity (admission p = 0.20, ICU admission p = 0.94, intubation p = 0.93, proning while intubated p = 0.58, ECMO p = 0.09, and death p = 0.49). After multivariable analysis, blood type was not independently associated with risk of intubation or death (referent blood type A; blood type B: AOR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.42-1.26, blood type AB: AOR: 0.78, CI: 0.33-1.87, blood type O: AOR: 0.77, CI: 0.51-1.16), rhesus factor positive (Rh+): AOR: 1.03, CI: 0.93-1.86. Blood type A had no correlation with positive testing (AOR: 1.00, CI: 0.88-1.13), blood type B was associated with higher odds of testing positive for disease (AOR: 1.28, CI: 1.08-1.52), AB was also associated with higher odds of testing positive (AOR: 1.37, CI: 1.02-1.83), and O was associated with a lower risk of testing positive (AOR: 0.84, CI: 0.75-0.95). Rh+ status was associated with higher odds of testing positive (AOR: 1.23, CI: 1.003-1.50). Blood type was not associated with risk of intubation or death in patients with COVID-19. Patients with blood types B and AB who received a test were more likely to test positive and blood type O was less likely to test positive. Rh+ patients were more likely to test positive.
    Keywords:  Blood type; COVID-19; Coronavirus; SARS-CoV2