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Obesity: A potential risk factor for infection and mortality in the current COVID-19 epidemic

Jayawardena, R, Jeyakumar, DT, Misra, A, Hills, AP ORCID: 0000-0002-7787-7201 and Ranasinghe, P 2020 , 'Obesity: A potential risk factor for infection and mortality in the current COVID-19 epidemic' , Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews, vol. 14, no. 6 , pp. 2199-2203 , doi:

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Background and aims: COVID-19 is an ongoing global pandemic, affecting nearly 35 million people from 214 countries as at September 30, 2020 and emerging evidence suggests that obesity is a potential risk factor for communicable diseases, including viral infections. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between obesity prevalence of the total adult population and COVID-19 infection and mortality rates, in different countries.Methods: A total of 54 countries from six continents were selected. Country-specific obesity prevalence data were retrieved from the latest non-communicable diseases profiles released by the Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster of World Health Organization, while the real time statistics from the Worldometer website were used to extract data on COVID-19 infections and mortality per million of the total population as of September 30, 2020.Results: Obesity prevalence data ranged from 2.0% (Vietnam) to 35.0% (Saudi Arabia). Among the selected countries, the highest number of COVID-19 cases per million was documented in Qatar (n = 44,789) while the lowest was reported from Vietnam (n = 11). Highest mortality per million population due to COVID-19 infections occurred in Peru (n = 981), in contrast with the smallest number reported in Mongolia (n = 0). A significant positive correlation (r = 0.46; p Conclusions: Obesity prevalence in each country was significantly associated with both infection and mortality rate of COVID-19.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Jayawardena, R and Jeyakumar, DT and Misra, A and Hills, AP and Ranasinghe, P
Keywords: COVID-19, mortality, obesity, prevalence
Journal or Publication Title: Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN: 1871-4021
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2020 Diabetes India.

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