A study of obese patients hospitalized for COVID-19 found that these patients had higher odds for invasive mechanical ventilation and mortality compared to normal BMI COVID-19 patients.

Mechanical ventilation and mortality rates varied in each of the six BMI categories. After adjusting for covariates, adults in the overweight (adjusted OR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.11-1.46) obesity class I (aOR = 1.48; 95% CI, 1.27-1.72) obesity class II (aOR = 1.89; 95% CI, 1.56-2.28) and obesity class III groups (aOR = 2.31; 95% CI, 1.88-2.85) had a greater likelihood for invasive mechanical ventilation. Men, adults aged 60 to 70 years, and those with Hispanic and Asian ethnicities had significantly higher odds for invasive mechanical ventilation.

“Our study finds that patients who are underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2), obesity class II (35-39.9 kg/m2), and obesity class III ( 40 kg/m2) are associated with increased odds for death in COVID-19. In terms of being on mechanical ventilation, COVID-19 patients with obesity class I (BMI 30-34.9 kg/m2), class II and class III are associated with increased odds of being on mechanical ventilation. Once intubated, patients with obesity had the same odds of death, which suggests that pulmonary complication leads to poor outcome among patients with obesity.”

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