bims-covirf Biomed News
on COVID19 risk factors
Issue of 2021‒03‒07
seven papers selected by
Catherine Rycroft

  1. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(3): e0247461
      AIM: COVID-19 clinical presentation is heterogeneous, ranging from asymptomatic to severe cases. While there are a number of early publications relating to risk factors for COVID-19 infection, low sample size and heterogeneity in study design impacted consolidation of early findings. There is a pressing need to identify the factors which predispose patients to severe cases of COVID-19. For rapid and widespread risk stratification, these factors should be easily obtainable, inexpensive, and avoid invasive clinical procedures. The aim of our study is to fill this knowledge gap by systematically mapping all the available evidence on the association of various clinical, demographic, and lifestyle variables with the risk of specific adverse outcomes in patients with COVID-19.METHODS: The systematic review was conducted using standardized methodology, searching two electronic databases (PubMed and SCOPUS) for relevant literature published between 1st January 2020 and 9th July 2020. Included studies reported characteristics of patients with COVID-19 while reporting outcomes relating to disease severity. In the case of sufficient comparable data, meta-analyses were conducted to estimate risk of each variable.
    RESULTS: Seventy-six studies were identified, with a total of 17,860,001 patients across 14 countries. The studies were highly heterogeneous in terms of the sample under study, outcomes, and risk measures reported. A large number of risk factors were presented for COVID-19. Commonly reported variables for adverse outcome from COVID-19 comprised patient characteristics, including age >75 (OR: 2.65, 95% CI: 1.81-3.90), male sex (OR: 2.05, 95% CI: 1.39-3.04) and severe obesity (OR: 2.57, 95% CI: 1.31-5.05). Active cancer (OR: 1.46, 95% CI: 1.04-2.04) was associated with increased risk of severe outcome. A number of common symptoms and vital measures (respiratory rate and SpO2) also suggested elevated risk profiles.
    CONCLUSIONS: Based on the findings of this study, a range of easily assessed parameters are valuable to predict elevated risk of severe illness and mortality as a result of COVID-19, including patient characteristics and detailed comorbidities, alongside the novel inclusion of real-time symptoms and vital measurements.
  2. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2021 Feb 26. 1-13
      Background: Currently, the number of patients with SARS-COV-2 infection has increased rapidly in Iran, but the risk and mortality of SARS-COV-2 infection in Iranian patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), chronic kidney disease (CKD), hypertension and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) still not clear. The aim of this meta-analysis was to estimate the proportion and mortality of SARS-COV-2 in these patients.Methods: A comprehensive literature search was carried out in PubMed, Web of Sciences, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, CNKI, SciELO, and other databases to identify all relevant studies published up to 10 January, 2020. The proportion and mortality in the patients were assessed by odd ratio (OR) and the corresponding 95 % confidence interval (95 % CI).
    Results: A total of ten case-series including 11,755 cases with SARS-COV-2 infection and 942 deaths were selected. Among them, there were total of 791 DM patients with 186 deaths, 225 CKD patients with 45 deaths, 790 hypertension cases with 86 deaths, and 471 CVDs cases with 60 deaths. Pooled data revealed that the proportion of SARS-COV-2 infection in the patients with hypertension, DM, CVDs and CKD were 21.1 %, 16.3 %, 14.0 % and 5.0 %, respectively. Moreover, the SARS-COV-2 infection were associated with an increased risk of mortality in DM (OR = 0.549, CI 95 % 0.448-0.671, p ≤ 0.001) and CKD (OR = 0.552, 95 % CI 0.367-0.829, p = 0.004) patients, but not hypertension and CVDs. There was no publication bias.
    Conclusions: Our pooled data showed that the proportion of SARS-COV-2 infection was the highest in the Iranian patients with hypertension (21.1 %) followed by DM (16.3 %), CVDs (14.0 %) and CKD (5.0 %). Moreover, DM and CKD in patients with SARS-COV-2 infection were associated with a 0.549 and 0.552-fold increase in mortality, respectively. Clinicians in Iran should be aware of these findings, to identifying patients at higher risk and inform interventions to reduce the risk of death. Moreover, well-designed, large-scale and multicenter studies are needed to improve and validate our findings.
    Keywords:  COVID-19; Cardiovascular disease; Chronic kidney disease; Diabetes; Hypertension; SARS-COV-2
  3. PLoS Med. 2021 Mar 04. 18(3): e1003553
      BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies report associations of diverse cardiometabolic conditions including obesity with COVID-19 illness, but causality has not been established. We sought to evaluate the associations of 17 cardiometabolic traits with COVID-19 susceptibility and severity using 2-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses.METHODS AND FINDINGS: We selected genetic variants associated with each exposure, including body mass index (BMI), at p < 5 × 10-8 from genome-wide association studies (GWASs). We then calculated inverse-variance-weighted averages of variant-specific estimates using summary statistics for susceptibility and severity from the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative GWAS meta-analyses of population-based cohorts and hospital registries comprising individuals with self-reported or genetically inferred European ancestry. Susceptibility was defined as testing positive for COVID-19 and severity was defined as hospitalization with COVID-19 versus population controls (anyone not a case in contributing cohorts). We repeated the analysis for BMI with effect estimates from the UK Biobank and performed pairwise multivariable MR to estimate the direct effects and indirect effects of BMI through obesity-related cardiometabolic diseases. Using p < 0.05/34 tests = 0.0015 to declare statistical significance, we found a nonsignificant association of genetically higher BMI with testing positive for COVID-19 (14,134 COVID-19 cases/1,284,876 controls, p = 0.002; UK Biobank: odds ratio 1.06 [95% CI 1.02, 1.10] per kg/m2; p = 0.004]) and a statistically significant association with higher risk of COVID-19 hospitalization (6,406 hospitalized COVID-19 cases/902,088 controls, p = 4.3 × 10-5; UK Biobank: odds ratio 1.14 [95% CI 1.07, 1.21] per kg/m2, p = 2.1 × 10-5). The implied direct effect of BMI was abolished upon conditioning on the effect on type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, and chronic kidney disease. No other cardiometabolic exposures tested were associated with a higher risk of poorer COVID-19 outcomes. Small study samples and weak genetic instruments could have limited the detection of modest associations, and pleiotropy may have biased effect estimates away from the null.
    CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found genetic evidence to support higher BMI as a causal risk factor for COVID-19 susceptibility and severity. These results raise the possibility that obesity could amplify COVID-19 disease burden independently or through its cardiometabolic consequences and suggest that targeting obesity may be a strategy to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes.
  4. South Med J. 2021 03;114(3): 144-149
      OBJECTIVES: To describe the demographics, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of hospitalized adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in an academic medical center in the southern United States.METHODS: Retrospective, observational cohort study of all adult patients (18 years and older) consecutively admitted with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 infection between March 13 and April 25, 2020 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. All of the patients either survived to hospital discharge or died during hospitalization. Demographics, body mass index, comorbidities, clinical manifestations, and laboratory findings were collected. Patient outcomes (need for invasive mechanical ventilation and in-hospital death) were analyzed.
    RESULTS: One hundred patients were included, 53% of whom were women. Median age was 59 years (interquartile range 44-70) and 66% were younger than 65. Seventy-five percent identified themselves as Black, despite representing 58% of hospitalized patients at our institution in 2019. Common comorbid conditions included hypertension (68%), obesity (65%), and diabetes mellitus (31%). Frequent clinical manifestations included shortness of breath (76%), cough (75%), and fever (64%). Symptoms were present for a median of 7 days (interquartile range 4-7) on presentation. Twenty-four percent of patients required mechanical ventilation and, overall, 19% died (67% of those requiring mechanical ventilation). Eighty-four percent of those who died were Black. On multivariate analysis, ever smoking (odds ratio [OR] 5.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-28.6) and history of diabetes mellitus (OR 5.9, 95% CI 1.5-24.3) were associated with mortality, and those admitted from home were less likely to die (vs outside facility, OR 0.2, 95% CI 0.0-0.7). Neither age, sex, race, body mass index, insurance status, nor rural residence was independently associated with mortality.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study adds evidence that Black patients appear to be overrepresented in those hospitalized with and those who die from COVID-19, likely a manifestation of adverse social determinants of health. These findings should help guide preventive interventions targeting groups at higher risk of acquiring and developing severe COVID-19 disease.
  5. Lancet Infect Dis. 2021 Mar 01. pii: S1473-3099(20)30978-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have been highlighted as important risk factors for COVID-19 mortality. However, insufficient data exist on the wider context of infectious diseases in people with NCDs. We aimed to investigate the association between NCDs and the risk of death from any infection before the COVID-19 pandemic (up to Dec 31, 2019).METHODS: For this observational study, we used data from the UK Biobank observational cohort study to explore factors associated with infection death. We excluded participants if data were missing for comorbidities, body-mass index, smoking status, ethnicity, and socioeconomic deprivation, and if they were lost to follow-up or withdrew consent. Deaths were censored up to Dec 31, 2019. We used Poisson regression models including NCDs present at recruitment to the UK Biobank (obesity [defined by use of body-mass index] and self-reported hypertension, chronic heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic liver disease, chronic kidney disease, previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack, other neurological disease, psychiatric disorder, and chronic inflammatory and autoimmune rheumatological disease), age, sex, ethnicity, smoking status, and socioeconomic deprivation. Separate models were constructed with individual NCDs replaced by the total number of prevalent NCDs to define associations with multimorbidity. All analyses were repeated with non-infection-related death as an alternate outcome measure to establish differential associations of infection death and non-infection death. Associations are reported as incidence rate ratios (IRR) accompanied by 95% CIs.
    FINDINGS: After exclusion of 9210 (1·8%) of the 502 505 participants in the UK Biobank cohort, our study sample comprised 493 295 individuals. During 5 273 731 person-years of follow-up (median 10·9 years [IQR 10·1-11·6] per participant), 27 729 deaths occurred, of which 1385 (5%) were related to infection. Advancing age, male sex, smoking, socioeconomic deprivation, and all studied NCDs were independently associated with the rate of both infection death and non-infection death. Compared with White ethnicity, a pooled Black, Asian, and minority ethnicity group was associated with a reduced risk of infection death (IRR 0·64, 95% CI 0·46-0·87) and non-infection death (0·80, 0·75-0·86). Stronger associations with infection death than with non-infection death were observed for advancing age (age 65 years vs 45 years: 7·59, 95% CI 5·92-9·73, for infection death vs 5·21, 4·97-5·48, for non-infection death), current smoking (vs never smoking: 3·69, 3·19-4·26, vs 2·52, 2·44-2·61), socioeconomic deprivation (most vs least deprived quintile: 2·13, 1·78-2·56, vs 1·38, 1·33-1·43), class 3 obesity (vs non-obese: 2·21, 1·74-2·82, vs 1·55, 1·44-1·66), hypertension (1·36, 1·22-1·53, vs 1·15, 1·12-1·18), respiratory disease (2·21, 1·96-2·50, vs 1·28, 1·24-1·32), chronic kidney disease (5·04, 4·28-7·31, vs 2·50, 2·20-2·84), psychiatric disease (1·56, 1·30-1·86, vs 1·23, 1·18-1·29), and chronic inflammatory and autoimmune rheumatological disease (2·45, 1·99-3·02, vs 1·41, 1·32-1·51). Accrual of multimorbidity was also more strongly associated with risk of infection death (five or more comorbidities vs none: 9·53, 6·97-13·03) than of non-infection death (5·26, 4·84-5·72).
    INTERPRETATION: Several NCDs are associated with an increased risk of infection death, suggesting that some of the reported associations with COVID-19 mortality might be non-specific. Only a subset of NCDs, together with the accrual of multimorbidity, advancing age, smoking, and socioeconomic deprivation, were associated with a greater IRR for infection death than for other causes of death. Further research is needed to define why these risk factors are more strongly associated with infection death, so that more effective preventive strategies can be targeted to high-risk groups.
    FUNDING: British Heart Foundation.
  6. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2021 Jan;30(1): S57-S59
      The objective of this study was to find out the association of ABO blood groups with the severity and outcome of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children. It included all laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and post-COVID multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)/ Kawasaki disease (KD) like illness, admitted from March to September, 2020 to The Children's Hospital, Lahore. Out of 66 children, 45 (68.2%) were COVID-19 and 21 (31.8%) MIS-C/KD temporally associated with SARS-C0V-2. The mean age was 7.9 ± 4.2 years. Majority of children had mild to moderate illness 38 (57.6%), while 23 (34.8%) had severe or critical disease. Among all patients, 24 (36.4%) had some underlying comorbidity. Blood group A was significantly associated with severe and critical disease (p=0.030). COVID-19 in children had generally a good outcome, but children with blood group A were more susceptible to severe/critical disease. Key Words: Coronavirus disease 2019, ABO blood groups, Children, Severity, Outcome.
  7. Sci Rep. 2021 03 03. 11(1): 5012
      The effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) in the treatment of COVID-19 are highly debated. This study was aimed to assess aggregated risk by investigating the association of ACEIs/ARBs users against non-users of ACEIs/ARBs with the risk of mortality or severe clinical manifestations or magnitude of SARS-CoV-2 test positivity in COVID-19 patients. Systematic literature search was carried out in different databases for eligible studies. The pooled relative risks (RRs) were measured using RevMan software where P<0.05 was set as statistical significance. In total, 10 studies were included in this analysis. After pooled estimation, it was demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 positive patients taking ACEIs/ARBs were not associated with an increased risk of mortality compared to those not taking ACEIs/ARBs (RR 0.89; 95% CI 0.64-1.23; P=0.48). Furthermore, the risk of composite severe clinical manifestations was not significantly different between the positive patients with or without ACEIs/ARBs users (RR 1.29; 95% CI 0.81-2.04; P=0.28). There was no risk difference for SARS-CoV-2 test positivity in patients with or without ACEIs/ARBs users (RR 1.00; 95% CI 0.95-1.05; P=0.91). These findings may augment current professional society guidelines for not discontinuing ACEIs/ARBs in treating COVID-19 patients where it is clinically indicated.