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Obesity as an independent risk factor for COVID-19 severity and mortality

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2023
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (73rd percentile)

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32 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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44 Mendeley
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Obesity as an independent risk factor for COVID-19 severity and mortality
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2023
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd015201
Pubmed ID

Borna Tadayon Najafabadi, Daniel G Rayner, Kamyar Shokraee, Kamran Shokraie, Parsa Panahi, Paravaneh Rastgou, Farnoosh Seirafianpour, Feryal Momeni Landi, Pariya Alinia, Neda Parnianfard, Nima Hemmati, Behrooz Banivaheb, Ramin Radmanesh, Saba Alvand, Parmida Shahbazi, Hojat Dehghanbanadaki, Elaheh Shaker, Kaveh Same, Esmaeil Mohammadi, Abdullah Malik, Ananya Srivastava, Peyman Nejat, Alice Tamara, Yuan Chi, Yuhong Yuan, Nima Hajizadeh, Cynthia Chan, Jamie Zhen, Dicky Tahapary, Laura Anderson, Emma Apatu, Anel Schoonees, Celeste E Naude, Lehana Thabane, Farid Foroutan


Since December 2019, the world has struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after the introduction of various vaccines, this disease still takes a considerable toll. In order to improve the optimal allocation of resources and communication of prognosis, healthcare providers and patients need an accurate understanding of factors (such as obesity) that are associated with a higher risk of adverse outcomes from the COVID-19 infection. To evaluate obesity as an independent prognostic factor for COVID-19 severity and mortality among adult patients in whom infection with the COVID-19 virus is confirmed. MEDLINE, Embase, two COVID-19 reference collections, and four Chinese biomedical databases were searched up to April 2021. We included case-control, case-series, prospective and retrospective cohort studies, and secondary analyses of randomised controlled trials if they evaluated associations between obesity and COVID-19 adverse outcomes including mortality, mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, hospitalisation, severe COVID, and COVID pneumonia. Given our interest in ascertaining the independent association between obesity and these outcomes, we selected studies that adjusted for at least one factor other than obesity. Studies were evaluated for inclusion by two independent reviewers working in duplicate.  DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Using standardised data extraction forms, we extracted relevant information from the included studies. When appropriate, we pooled the estimates of association across studies with the use of random-effects meta-analyses. The Quality in Prognostic Studies (QUIPS) tool provided the platform for assessing the risk of bias across each included study. In our main comparison, we conducted meta-analyses for each obesity class separately. We also meta-analysed unclassified obesity and obesity as a continuous variable (5 kg/m2 increase in BMI (body mass index)). We used the GRADE framework to rate our certainty in the importance of the association observed between obesity and each outcome. As obesity is closely associated with other comorbidities, we decided to prespecify the minimum adjustment set of variables including age, sex, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease for subgroup analysis.  MAIN RESULTS: We identified 171 studies, 149 of which were included in meta-analyses.  As compared to 'normal' BMI (18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2) or patients without obesity, those with obesity classes I (BMI 30 to 35 kg/m2), and II (BMI 35 to 40 kg/m2) were not at increased odds for mortality (Class I: odds ratio [OR] 1.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.94 to 1.16, high certainty (15 studies, 335,209 participants); Class II: OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.36, high certainty (11 studies, 317,925 participants)). However, those with class III obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2 and above) may be at increased odds for mortality (Class III: OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.39 to 2.00, low certainty, (19 studies, 354,967 participants)) compared to normal BMI or patients without obesity. For mechanical ventilation, we observed increasing odds with higher classes of obesity in comparison to normal BMI or patients without obesity (class I: OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.59, 10 studies, 187,895 participants, moderate certainty; class II: OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.42 to 1.96, 6 studies, 171,149 participants, high certainty; class III: OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.59 to 2.97, 12 studies, 174,520 participants, high certainty). However, we did not observe a dose-response relationship across increasing obesity classifications for ICU admission and hospitalisation. Our findings suggest that obesity is an important independent prognostic factor in the setting of COVID-19. Consideration of obesity may inform the optimal management and allocation of limited resources in the care of COVID-19 patients.

Twitter Demographics

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 32 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 44 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 44 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Unspecified 22 50%
Researcher 4 9%
Student > Master 3 7%
Other 2 5%
Librarian 2 5%
Other 5 11%
Unknown 6 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Unspecified 22 50%
Medicine and Dentistry 6 14%
Nursing and Health Professions 4 9%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 3 7%
Immunology and Microbiology 1 2%
Other 1 2%
Unknown 7 16%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 20. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 July 2023.
All research outputs
of 24,417,958 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,911 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 366,911 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 118 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 24,417,958 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,911 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 34.5. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 366,911 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 118 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 73% of its contemporaries.