Characteristics and outcomes of 627 044 COVID-19 patients living with and without obesity in the United States, Spain, and the United Kingdom

Martina Recalde, Elena Roel, Andrea Pistillo, Anthony G. Sena, Albert Prats-Uribe, Waheed Ul Rahman Ahmed, Heba Alghoul, Thamir M. Alshammari, Osaid Alser, Carlos Areia, Edward Burn, Paula Casajust, Dalia Dawoud, Scott L. DuVall, Thomas Falconer, Sergio Fernández-Bertolín, Asieh Golozar, Mengchun Gong, Lana Yin Hui Lai, Jennifer C.E. LaneKristine E. Lynch, Michael E. Matheny, Paras P. Mehta, Daniel R. Morales, Karthik Natarjan, Fredrik Nyberg, Jose D. Posada, Christian G. Reich, Peter R. Rijnbeek, Lisa M. Schilling, Karishma Shah, Nigam H. Shah, Vignesh Subbian, Lin Zhang, Hong Zhu, Patrick Ryan, Daniel Prieto-Alhambra, Kristin Kostka, Talita Duarte-Salles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: A detailed characterization of patients with COVID-19 living with obesity has not yet been undertaken. We aimed to describe and compare the demographics, medical conditions, and outcomes of COVID-19 patients living with obesity (PLWO) to those of patients living without obesity. Methods: We conducted a cohort study based on outpatient/inpatient care and claims data from January to June 2020 from Spain, the UK, and the US. We used six databases standardized to the OMOP common data model. We defined two non-mutually exclusive cohorts of patients diagnosed and/or hospitalized with COVID-19; patients were followed from index date to 30 days or death. We report the frequency of demographics, prior medical conditions, and 30-days outcomes (hospitalization, events, and death) by obesity status. Results: We included 627 044 (Spain: 122 058, UK: 2336, and US: 502 650) diagnosed and 160 013 (Spain: 18 197, US: 141 816) hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The prevalence of obesity was higher among patients hospitalized (39.9%, 95%CI: 39.8−40.0) than among those diagnosed with COVID-19 (33.1%; 95%CI: 33.0−33.2). In both cohorts, PLWO were more often female. Hospitalized PLWO were younger than patients without obesity. Overall, COVID-19 PLWO were more likely to have prior medical conditions, present with cardiovascular and respiratory events during hospitalization, or require intensive services compared to COVID-19 patients without obesity. Conclusion: We show that PLWO differ from patients without obesity in a wide range of medical conditions and present with more severe forms of COVID-19, with higher hospitalization rates and intensive services requirements. These findings can help guiding preventive strategies of COVID-19 infection and complications and generating hypotheses for causal inference studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2347-2357
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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