Coronavirus

Further research indicates obesity and type 2 diabetes are COVID-19 risk factors

New York study reveals COVID-19 risks

High blood pressure, obesity and type 2 diabetes are risk factors for COVID-19, leading to increased risk of severe illness in people who develop COVID-19, US researchers have said.

A New York study has also shown that 88% of people who were admitted to hospital with the killer virus and put on a ventilator, ended up passing away.

Further analysis among the ventilation death rates showed that 76.4% were aged between 18 to 65, and the mortality numbers rose to 97.2% among those aged 65 or older.

In contrast, among the same age groups those who did not need ventilation treatment, mortality rates were only 19.8% and 26.6%, respectively.

The findings indicated that of those hospitalised people, 57% had hypertension, 41% were obese and 34% had type 2 diabetes, risk factors which have already been identified and listed by the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention.

Those with diabetes were more likely to have been treated with a ventilator in the intensive care unit (ICU) or developed acute kidney disease.

The study, carried out by a team from the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, involved looking at data from 5,700 people and 12 New York hospitals. This makes it the largest and most comprehensive study of COVID-19 outcomes in the USA so far.

Lead researcher Professor Karina Davidson, senior vice president at the Feinstein Institutes, said: “New York has become the epicentre of this epidemic. Clinicians, scientists, statisticians and laboratory professionals are working tirelessly to provide best care and comfort to the thousands of COVID-19 patients in our Northwell hospitals.

“Through our consortium, we will share our clinical and scientific insights as we evolve the ways to care for and treat COVID-19 patients.”

Dr Kevin Tracey, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes, said: “These observational studies and other randomised clinical trial results from the Feinstein Institutes will improve the care for others confronting COVID outbreaks.”

The researchers concluded: “This case series provides characteristics and early outcomes of sequentially hospitalised patients with confirmed COVID-19 in the New York City area.”

The findings of the research paper have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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