Being male or overweight can lead to more serious COVID-19 hospital admissions | Imperial News | Imperial College London
New UK research has found that being male or obese reduces chance of survival from severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The findings come from a study of almost 17,000 patients with COVID-19, in which researchers from three universities, including Imperial, aim to answer important questions about the course of and risk factors for the disease.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, COVID-19 can be more severe in older people and people with chronic heart, lung, and kidney disease, a weakened immune system, diabetes, and some cancers. However, less is known about how the virus exploits age, sex and other underlying health conditions.
In an effort to better understand who is most severely affected by the virus, what happens to them in hospital and why some people have better outcomes than others, ISARIC4C, a consortium of researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Liverpool, and the University of Edinburgh, analysed data obtained from 16,749 COVID-19 patients in the UK.
The researchers have found that after adjusting for other medical problems such as lung, heart and kidney disease that are already known to cause poor outcomes, being male or obese (with a BMI over 30) is a significant factor associated with death in UK hospitals, a feature not seen in China, where it is thought that fewer people are obese.