Association Between BMI and COVID-19 Clinical Outcome Severity: A Systematic Review Comparing Data from Asian and Western Countries
by Tanisa Goyal
Abstract – Given the global significance of COVID-19, it is crucial to discuss potential factors that correlate with the severity of clinical outcomes for patients. This study examines the association between obesity, characterized by high BMI, and increased severity of adverse clinical outcomes for COVID-19 patients, quantified through ICU admission numbers. A total of 20 studies between 2020 and 2021 from both Western countries and Asian countries were systematically reviewed, and data regarding the nature of the study, number of patients in various BMI groups, and ICU admissions were extracted. The studies were found in a medical research database (PubMed) and qualitatively screened to determine their relevance. The correlation between obesity and ICU admissions was then calculated, ensuring that two distinct correlation values were determined: one for the Western-centric studies and one for the Asian-centric studies. The former showed a stronger positive correlation. Given that obesity may serve as an indicator for severe clinical outcomes, this research can be used in relevant geographical locations for the betterment and increased caution of patient care.